While I was standing at the bus stop near the Morningside Nature Center yesterday watching the cars whiz by, I noticed movement in the narrow gutter of the highway lane closest to me. Taking a second look, I was surprised to see a large tortoise running along the road. (“Large” is relative. He was at least 9-10 inches long.) And yes, he was running, if tortoises can run, or at least he was moving along with great speed for a tortoise! He definitely had somewhere to go in a hurry.
Fortunately for him, no cars were passing by at the moment so I quickly and carefully picked him up and placed him near the edge of the woods at the bus stop. Soon he poked his little head out of his shell and headed into the jungles of Gainesville, this time in a much safer location for traveling.
Perhaps there is an object lesson in there for me…
I am eager to share my testimony of God’s goodness in preserving my life during the dark times of my life, to share information about Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and it’s devastating and debilitating effects on a woman’s life, and to share the fullness of joy I have in my Savior Y’hoshua (Jesus), as a full-time ministry, to both the churched and the unchurched. To accomplish this, I was planning to rejoin the rat race of the world in which we live – find regular full time employment, get an apartment, etc. But God has carefully picked me up and placed me in a new environment where I can shine for Him. Like Mr. Tortoise, my “safe place” is not on the highway but in the woods (literally).
A song I know came to my mind. It is composed of just two verses from God’s Word:
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace toward me was not in vain… (1Timothy 1:15; 1Corinthians 15:10).
If I am the chief of sinners (and I am)
and if Y’hoshua (Christ Jesus) came into the world to save sinners (and He did)
and if I am what I am (saved, delivered, healed, restored) by the grace of God (and I am),
then to show that His grace toward me was not in vain,
I must share His hope, especially with the women around me,
even if it means remaining in my present circumstances for now.
Like Mr. Tortoise, I am popping my little head out of my shell and, by faith, doing what God has called me to do as quickly as my little tortoise legs will carry me.
Gracious Father, thank you for taking me off, and keeping me off, the highway. You know a safer place, a better place, a better way… I may not see it clearly right now, but I trust that you are leading and providing.
Thank you for your beautiful creatures and the environment you created them to live in!