Thursday, May 31, 2012

Turtle Musings

I cannot let the month of May slip by without telling you about my calendar experience.  I have several calendars around the house and sometimes don't always get them moved to the next month in a timely manner, and so I was late with my favorite calendar.  But when I turned it from April to May it took my breath away.  It was not some spectacular scenery view or some beautiful flower up close or a bird, but . . . a turtle.
(photo by Tim Fitzharris)
It took several days for it to sink in, the appropriateness of a turtle, because the verse on it says, "The LORD will do amazing things among you.  Amazing things.  (Joshua 3:5)  The verse spoke to my heart.  Really?  Amazing things?  Could this be the month that I have a breakthrough with my writing?  That it all comes together?  I'm not asking for the whole book, just this one chapter I'm currently working on. Please God? 

But then the turtle thing got to me.  How very slow moving is a turtle!  And in God's good time, He will do amazing things.  Sigh.  I've been fighting with this chapter for three months now and the last month in earnest.  And when I say fight, I truly mean a struggle.  Wrestling with this thought or that, cutting out the clutter and the rabbit trails.  And I have to admit I've been a bit frustrated with God lately that it doesn't seem like I'm making progress with this project at the pace I had hoped. 

But God is "not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness.  he is patient with you..." (2 Pet.3:9) What?  HE is patient with me?  Yes, like a parent trying to teach a child how to do a household chore, He steps back and waits for us to learn the task when all the while He could accomplish it with ease.  But He doesn't want us to miss out on the blessing, the joy that is ours as He works His purposes through us. 

In reality, I don't think God is as much concerned for the outcome as I am.  I think He is more interested in molding and shaping me into His image through the process.  Submitting to His will when I can't see results is difficult, but is what I need to do in order for me to learn the lessons He's trying to teach me.  And the fact is, God has to prepare my heart for the results and He knows I may not be ready for that yet.  Patience.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Slow and steady.

On the days when God seems to be moving slow as a turtle, I have to remind myself that it just may be me that's slow, not Him.  I think of the times I run into a wall with my flow of thoughts and then procrastinate or think I can sit back and do nothing because I have prayed.  No, God would have me engaged in disciplined action.  I must believe He will do what He's promised and reserve time in the day to write, and then, actually write.  Engage.  

I don't always put a lot of clout in a verse on a calendar, and yet it does cause me to pause and think about it . . . wondering if this is not the voice of God directed toward me for this month.  (Among other things, such as my daily time with Him and listening to the preaching of the Word each week.)  And for the record, April's verse was "You have been my refuge . . . a shelter from the storm."  (Isaiah 25:4)  April flew by so fast I didn't even see the verse until May.  But as I thought of the events of April with the death of my sister in law, I couldn't help but think that God may have provided that verse there for me.  How sad that all of April slipped by and I missed the blessing of this calendar picture.  God was reaching out to me and I failed to see it.    
(photo by Gary Alan Nelson)
God is so eager to rush to my need, to lift me up on His wings of strength, but sometimes I miss it being preoccupied with my life.  I have to admit I am reluctant to flip the calendar to June because I've quite fallen in love with this turtle staring me in the face all month . . . my constant reminder to carry on, slow and steady.  It is one calendar picture I might have to frame and keep on my wall for always.  God is doing amazing things among us . . . amazing things!   God give me faith to believe even when I cannot see.   


  1. Mmmmmmmm....refreshment to my soul. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. This is very similar to how I feel right now! We are at a time in life that involves a lot of waiting and will for some time. Thanks, this is just what I needed to hear! We leave for Florida in a couple of weeks. I am really hoping to see a sea turtle. If I do, I will certainly think of you and this post :)