“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” I Peter 1:7-8
After a recent storm, our puppy was eager to go outside and get her “business” done. Our son took her out the front door and I immediately heard, “Whoa, Ava. No! Mom, you better come out here!” I ran to the front door and on our front steps was a turtle. Not just any turtle. This turtle was over 9 inches long and his shell had five sections across from right to left. He was a snapper and he had very long claws. Our son had called off the dog because she wanted to investigate and he was afraid for her safety—the turtle was hissing and seemed very angry. He had gotten tangled up in the hose someone had accidentally left on the sidewalk and he was not happy about a lack of forward progress. I moved the hose and cleared the sidewalk for him and then I encouraged him to move forward by gently nudging him with my boot. He hissed and carried on so badly that we finally decided to just leave him alone and see if he would make his own way off the pavement and into the cool, wet grass.
Aren’t we often just like that turtle? We get tangled up in a trial, or we wind up facing obstacles because we are trying to move forward in our spiritual journey. We get frustrated, perhaps even snappy—like our turtle friend. When others see our situation and move alongside of us to help, we snap and hiss at them too. Even when God finally clears the path and makes it possible for us to go on to the cool, wet grass of resting in His goodness, we dig in our heels, push out our claws and refuse to move. Sometimes, others get discouraged by our actions, and they leave us alone to figure out how to get going again, when all along, they were trying to help us.
But, what if we were willing to accept their help, be grateful for the obstacles being removed and simply moved on in our spiritual walk? What if others could watch us and see our desire to learn and grow gracefully in this journey called life, and they saw us patiently enduring, instead of hissing and snapping our way through? I hope today, whatever tangles or obstacles we may have, that we will go forward to the place of God’s goodness and not get stuck—or snappy—in our present circumstances.
Thought provoker: What is your reaction to an obstacle or trial? Are you willing to see past others’ “snappiness” and realize they are hurting, or do you leave them alone in their tangled trials? Please be the kind of person that reflects God’s goodness during your journey, whether you are the turtle or the one called to help him!
Lord, please give me graciousness as I walk this journey of life with You. Whether I am called to be the turtle, or the helper, help me not to be hissing or snapping, but kind and patient, knowing that You will clear the way in Your time and make all things new. Amen.