Yesterday, I took a 2 mile midday walk and jog. As I traveled along a track next to a reservoir near my house, I noticed a row of turtles sunning on a log in the water’s edge. As I approached their vicinity, the splashes began. First, the big turtles and then the smaller ones. However, there was this one little guy who stood his ground. This got me to thinking as I was gasping for air and finishing the last mile of my workout. Out of the whole long row of turtles, the one who seemed the least was the bravest!
I know it would be easy to contend that he was the most ignorant since he was the baby, and that the older ones were attempting to teach him safety, but the Lord was impressing something else on my heart… It doesn’t matter who makes the biggest splash or who appears to be the biggest. In the end, the faithful in heart will be able to stand in the midst of any threats.
This little baby turtle held his ground…or I should say, ‘his log.’ He wasn’t surrendering his position to anyone, either to me as I ran near the waters edge, or to the shaking ground from a nearby tractor pulling a bush hog. No sir… others could flee and disappear into the lake, but there he stood with neck stretched out and at attention. As I returned for the second loop, he was still there with no change of position or heart. In my mind’s eye he seemed even bigger. Of course this could have been from the lack of oxygen I was gasping for, but you get the picture. God’s little turtle was shouting “Stand firm in faith” to my heart!
Do you or your ministry seem small in comparison to the size of others? Stop measuring yourself by the size of ministry splash or recognition. (2Cor. 10:12) Let us learn from a turtle. God measures a man by the faithfulness of his heart, not the amount of noise he can make. Stand firm on the promises of God and the leading of His Spirit. Threats will come and lead us into the fight of faith, but we are called to endure as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2Tim.2:3)
Shammah, one of King David’s mighty men, stood in the midst of his field and refused to yield to the Philistines when they came to take his crops and property. Instead, the Lord won a great victory through him by single handily striking down many enemies. (2Sam. 23:11-12) Likewise, stand solid in the midst of ‘your field’ and refuse to abdicate your calling and territory regardless of the threats. God rewards faithfulness and courage by providing His strength and power when we face opposition.
The Lord can use His creation to explode timeless truths in our hearts. Jesus used the land and creation in many of His teachings. I will certainly remember this little turtle as he unflinchingly stood his ground while the other larger turtles were rushing for safety. Oh Lord, raise up men and women with spiritual backbone and courage from Your Spirit to stand their ground!
We need these lessons from a turtle.