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God to the Rescue!

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God to the Rescue!

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We didn’t have much time to spare. We had barely set out on our trip to Passover services last year, when suddenly the car ahead of us stopped at a point where it was tricky to pass.

The driver jumped out. “What on earth?” I thought. “We might be late for setup at this rate.” Then we saw him crouch down and pick up a box turtle from the road. He then set it down on the grass bank, and went on his way again.

Most likely, the creature would have been killed by one of the next cars coming by, had this driver not intervened. As we continued on our way that evening, so many analogies and lessons flooded my mind.

God’s compassion for us

First, I was reminded that the Father reached down to deliver us from imminent danger of eternal death from sin (Romans 6:23). Unlike Jesus, the turtle’s rescuer didn’t deliberately put his life on the line, but he could have been hit by a speeding car.

For him, it was an act of compassion, and he saw that the turtle mattered. Do we matter? Even though we are mere specks on the scale of a vast universe, and insignificant without God, He saw potential in us, and Jesus was willing to die for each of us (John 3:16).

We can’t help ourselves

The turtle couldn’t help itself out of danger. In fact, it didn’t even realize it was in peril. We were the same way when God reached out to us. The natural human way seems right, but those paths lead to death (Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25). Just as Jesus realized as a human that His success depended on being close to His Father, we come to see that nothing we do is of any worth without God’s intervention and help (John 5:19, 30). We can’t give ourselves the credit for any lasting good that we accomplish, for it is actually Jesus accomplishing it through us (Galatians 2:20).

God doesn’t grudge us His time

Had we been in the place of the driver ahead of us, would we have sped along, unaware of the turtle’s plight until it was too late? Do we overlook opportunities to help a person in need because we are always in a hurry? Jesus taught people and healed them even when He was physically exhausted and emotionally drained (Matthew 14:12-14). We have physical limitations but perhaps there are occasions when we can take the extra time needed to reach out to someone. Maybe a neighbor can’t start her car in the morning when we are about to leave for work; perhaps a co-worker needs to ride to work with us while his car is in the shop.

Little things are important to God, too

Was the turtle too small to bother about? The Father cares about all of the creatures He has made (Matthew 10:29). And Jesus cared deeply about little people: like the children whose parents wanted Him to bless them (Matthew 19:13-15). He was greatly displeased with His disciples for sending these little ones away! He even went on to say that little children can teach adults some important spiritual lessons about our relationship with God.

God to the rescue!

Like the turtle, we all require course correction. In order to survive, the little shelled creature needed to be picked up and relocated. Before we were even aware of the spiritual danger we were headed toward, the Father and Jesus reached down and rescued us, and set us on a completely different path—the road to eternal life! And even after conversion, we still need smaller course corrections along the way.

I don’t think I will ever approach Passover again without thinking of these lessons from the simple rescue of a turtle. How grateful I am for God’s compassion for us, and His willingness to help us when we can’t help ourselves. How thankful I am for His taking the time to help potential members of His Family, and for considering the “little things” to be important in His eternal perspective!

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    A wonderful insightful and stimulating article. I thank you so many lessons came out of that short story, one of hope, understanding, compassion, deliverance.

  • Malachi 3_16-18

    So glad you enjoyed and benefited from it, David John! When I wrote it, I had no inkling of what we would currently be going through as a church, nation, and world. But the same lessons are still there, maybe even deeper than before.

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