I had just turned onto the road leading to my home when I came upon a young land turtle.
When the car was almost abreast with it, it cocked its head as though sensing the danger coming. As I drove past it, it quickly withdrew into its shell.
Observing it in my rearview mirror, I noticed that the turtle remained at a standstill long after the danger had passed.
Two things immediately resonated with me:
1. Sometimes we only recognize danger when it is practically upon us.
Maybe it was the turtle’s youth, maybe it was hard of hearing; either way, it should have heard me coming much earlier and gotten out of harm’s way.
Similarly, as Christians we should always be on guard, with our eyes and ears open, on the lookout for the darts of the enemy. Often we are distracted and do not realize that we are in danger until the threat is imminent or we have been attacked.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
2. Other times, we remain frozen after encountering challenging situations, making ourselves even more vulnerable than before.
Instead of the turtle immediately moving to a place of safety, it remained in the road, vulnerable to other coming traffic. In fact, its head was still in its shell, foolishly believing it was “safe”.
How many times do we do this after experiencing a challenging encounter? We keep to ourselves, somehow thinking that doing so keeps us “safe”. But this only leads to other counter-productive activities. We can’t bring ourselves to pray or read our Bibles; we avoid church. All this when we should be doing the exact opposite.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NLT
Instead of fortifying ourselves by spending time with God, we become weak, exposing ourselves to further attacks.
Today, I want to encourage us to keep moving forward.
Life can be challenging, of this there is no doubt. But God has promised, “the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13 NLT