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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Turtles

JEAN SAID:

Last Friday on her way to our house T. pulled off the road to rescue a large turtle - his shell was 12 or 13 inches long. He was slowly dragging himself across the highway, so T. scooped him up, put him in the back of her truck, and brought him to me. My plan was to keep him inside our fenced back yard so M. and D.L. could admire him for a few minutes, then set him free along the large ditch that runs behind our house.

My plan didn't work out that way. (Do the plans we make EVER work out the way we think they should, Lord?) The turtle crawled under my garden shed and buried himself. It was four days later before he reappeared so I could capture him and set him free.

I saw the evidence that he'd crawled out of hiding during the nights, though. He made a track the width of his body along the perimeter of our fence. He had obviously crawled around and around our fence trying to find a way to escape. Our lawn is very thick, healthy grass, but he had totally flattened it along the fence line.

Poor turtle. I could envision him beating his head against the impregnable fence over and over again searching for freedom. If he had just come out of hiding into the light that first day I would have gladly set him free.

Lord, I know many people like that. I've been praying for years that they will come out of hiding. Like that turtle, they tuck their heads and legs inside their shells, then bury themselves in the darkness. If they would just take the risk of stepping into Your Light, You would gladly set them free. Jesus, You offer them salvation, but they keep butting their heads against the same emotional and spiritual fences that have them boxed in to their frustrated, fearful lifestyles.

Dear Jesus, woo them out from their hiding places. Draw them to Yourself so You can capture their hearts, lift them up, and set them free from their sin. Like You did for me, Lord. You saved me and put me in a spacious, lush place in this life and You promised me an eternity of freedom with You.

GOD SAID:

Poor people. I watch them butting their heads against life over and over again searching for something that will set them free from their guilt, anxiety, fear, and frustration. I long for them to step into My Light, too. I want to set them free.

Pray for them. Love them. Tell them about Me. Live out your freedom and joy and hope so they will be drawn to Me. That's all you can do, Little One. The choice is ultimately theirs.