Have you seen any turtles this summer? I’ve seen them everywhere. It is like Marietta suddenly has a turtle infestation. The other day I was going to the grocery store and saw a car pulled on the side of the road near a bridge causing traffic to stop. When I was able to get around the car, I saw the problem. There was a huge turtle, I’m talking the size of my steering wheel, stuck in the middle of the road and a man in dress clothes was trying to get it back into the water. The only problem was every time the man tried to reach down to move the turtle, the turtle would stand as tall as he could and hiss at the man trying to strike him.
One morning this week I was heading to a meeting and saw a turtle in the middle of my lane trying to cross the road. Traffic was too heavy to stop, so I maneuvered my car so I straddled the turtle, which caused him to immediately pull into his shell. I didn’t hit him nor did the cars behind me. As I was making a turn I saw the turtle slowly making his way across the road.
Too many times, we’re like turtles when difficulty comes our way. We close ourselves off inside our shells or we strike out at those who attempt to help us. God never intended for us to operate as a lone soldier. He is a God of relationship and He created us for relationship [Genesis 1:26]. Jesus called us to love one another even when we’re difficult to love [Matthew 5:43-44, Matthew 22:39, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8]. We are to treat others the way we want to be treated [Luke 6:31]. God gave us the Body of Christ to surround us, love on us and protect us when we’re going through difficulty, not hide inside our personal shell [Mark 2:1-12]. In John 13:34 Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” If we love and are loved like Jesus loves us, we can find safety in the Body of Christ in the midst of our difficulties.
If you have difficulty trusting other people, then trust Jesus. He will guide your every step. If you ask Him, He will let you know when you can trust another and when you should be on guard; however, don’t shut the world out for fear of getting hurt further. When you do, you’re allowing the enemy to win. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”[2 Timothy 1:7] And we can trust in His Spirit to guide us every step of the way.
Are you going through difficulty today? It’s time to come out of your shell and trust God and the Body of Christ to support you and love you through it.