By: Denise Pass © 6/19/14
“For his anger lasts only a brief moment, and his good favor restores one’s life. One may experience sorrow during the night, but joy arrives in the morning.”
“Have mercy on me, oh God! Have mercy on me! For in You I have taken shelter. In the shadow of your wings I take shelter until trouble passes. I cry out for help to the sovereign God, to the God Who vindicates me.”
On a recent trip to an aquarium I spotted this little turtle and was captivated by the boldness he modeled as he stuck his head out to see the onlookers. Needing a break from the burden he was bearing, he tenaciously gripped the leaf and pushed himself up. Do you identify with this turtle? I do. Sometimes the trauma and difficulties we face make us want to stay in our shell and hide away from all pain – but we would miss the beauty around us if we never poked our head out again.
Their outer shell is a shield which protects them, but it can also be something they hide behind, too. I also have outer shells that I have hidden behind – without being aware of it. Boxed in by my burdens and by fear that threatens to silence me if I dare step out and share my life to help others, the turtle and I are well acquainted. Yet I, too, am compelled to venture out, knowing it is part of the healing process.
The motivation to keep going on living, to keep risking pain is a bold move, but a necessary one. If it were not for the Lover of our souls, I could not do it. What hope there is in God’s word! If we would take our shelter in Him instead of our man-made shells, which do not really deliver us, how great is our victory! Our trials are temporary moments in a sea of time, but crying out to our Sovereign God, who already knows the end, gives us great hope and courage to be willing to stick our neck out again. And again. Today, when you survey the world and are unsure of even sticking a toe out there, cry out to God and give Him your burdens. Amazing things can happen when we bring our cares to the only One Who really can handle them.
Lord, help us to trust You with our burdens, to be willing to step out again and not allow fear to hem us in. May You be glorified through our pains and our joys! Amen.