“Mom, I have to go. There’s a turtle in the road. I’ll call you back.”
“What? Be careful! Are there lots of cars? Be careful!” Mom’s words trample each other.
“It’s at the back of our neighborhood. Barely any cars. He’s just sitting there. I’m parking now.”
“Be careful! Watch out for cars.”
I nod in agreement, then smirk. I’m alone in the vehicle. “I will. No other cars so far. Just me and the turtle. I’ll call you back in a few.”
God sometimes answers my prayers and questions through situations with His creation. So I geared up for it, ready to listen to His voice, because I’d been praying specifically about something in my life, asking God for direction and wisdom.
Asking Him to guide me so I don’t step out ahead of Him. Asking for patience.
Wait…patience, and a turtle?
Oh no, Lord. Turtles are sooo-ooo slow.
The frightened Florida Cooter had a dark shell, long claws, and a striped black and yellow face which remained mostly hidden when I scooped him from the yellow lines dissecting the road.
I was just glad he wasn’t dissected all over the road.
I carried the quiet fellow to safety–the opposite side of the road, where he was headed. Half-dried, hunter green pond ooze rubbed against the pads of my fingers.
Relief that I’d recently bought a container of sanitizing wipes for my truck swept over me.
“I hope you were aiming for the big pond, fella.”
Directly across the road is a tiny waterhole; calling it a pond is gross exaggeration. It’s more like an alligator bathtub. Maybe twenty feet in length and fifteen feet wide, the small pond can’t be any deeper than my knees.
And I’m not very tall.
But beyond this micro-pond, past forty or fifty yards of dry grass and sandy Florida soil, a shimmering sea of a lake stretches out. Acres and acres of water reach a sloped hillside.
Water, as far as my eyes could see. A vast expanse of gray-blue beauty, a veritable turtle paradise, making the tiny pond look like a giant’s tear.
“You don’t want the tiny pond. Go for the big one.” I’m certain he’ll appreciate the advice.
I walk the turtle across the gritty ground, place him gently down, just inside a wide expanse of barbed wire fence (the huge lake is on private property marked by the barbed wire).
Mr. Turtle glanced back with his black and yellow eye then set off. Scuffling toward the turtle-paradise-lake.
How sad if he would’ve ended up in the mud puddle minnow pond instead of the huge lake just beyond.
The turtle slowed on the grass, scoped out his surroundings.
“Go long, fella.” I glance around. Thankfully no cars drive by to see me gesturing to the turtle.
I grin as he crests the hill descending to the lake. Nothing lays in his way except deep, deep water. I turn toward my car.
Go long, trust deep.
Do I do that for You, Lord? Do I trust You as deeply as that lake goes?
Often I pray Proverbs 3: 5 & 6. It was my grandma Mimi’s life verse, and it settles my impatient, selfish mind back on Jesus.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
In life, God often calls us to go long. Long distances, long periods of time, long weeks, months of pain and hurt. Times of uncertainty.
But He also calls us to trust deep–to know Him through His word and believe that His grace will cover the difficult, tedious path.
Believe His plans–His pond–will be bigger, deeper, better. Exceedingly, abundantly more.
Trust Him. Go long, friend, and trust deep. He is so worthy.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20 & 21)