In the Spring of I-don’t-know-what-year, my man came home from work and announced that his co-worker had a box full of baby painted turtles that her son had rescued and they were looking for homes for them. I said no. He asked me again before heading back to work the next morning. I said no. My cutie of a husband sneaked back into the house that afternoon carrying a plastic bowl containing…(any guesses?)…a baby painted turtle! But I still said no.
I said no while he and our children all begged me to say yes. And I said no while we were searching for that little turtle once it escaped from that bowl and went missing. I was thankful when we found it under a box nearby before the dog found it, but I still said no. So, I was disappointed when they named it “Bucky” because they weren’t listening to me say no. And I was VERY frustrated when my husband drained half my aquarium until the rocks were half out of the water and my fish were designated to the bottom quarter of the tank. I said no!
A day or two later my husband went out of town for business, and Bucky became deathly ill while he was away. I found myself researching his symptoms and hand treating him for over 48 hours despite the fact that I wanted to say no. I wanted to continue to grumble about this little creature being added to our family without my consent. I wanted to complain about having to take care of my husband’s pet. But I couldn’t. I had this little creature on his back while I was giving him his treatments, and all he would do was look at me. I was doing what I felt was best for healing him, and I could see he knew this. He didn’t struggle, he submitted with complete acceptance that I was in control and I would do what was best for him.
This was when Bucky became a member of our family for me. Little Bucky lived through this ordeal, and my husband came home and had to realize his turtle had now become mine. Every time I was near the aquarium that little critter would swim to the wall of the aquarium and press himself up against it to get my attention and say hello.
Here’s the thing…that look in Bucky’s eyes, I recognized it. He was only a couple of weeks old, he’d never experienced this, he didn’t know what to expect, but he didn’t fight it because he knew he needed help, and he believed I would save him. I’ve been there. I’ve faced the consequences of sin, I’ve feared death, and I’ve been lost and alone in this world. I ended up on my back with nothing left in me, but God looked down, and I looked up and I just knew He is the only way. I submitted myself to the Creator’s hand and will, and I knew peace for the first time. I knew life for the first time. God did this for me through Christ Jesus. He does this for anyone who will believe and receive His gift of salvation, healing, and life.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God –Ephesians 2:8
Each day I am like that little turtle…I see a God sighting and I cannot help myself, I get as close as I can get to Him. I celebrate Him and thank Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. HE loves me, and HE loves you too. In this, you can have faith.
Father God, I am in awe of Your might and Your love. Thank You, LORD! May we always know that we are not justified by our own strengths or what we do, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we will always put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by our own strengths, because by our own works no one will ever be justified. Thank You, Lord! Amen. (Gal 2:16)