Lessons From a Sea Turtle

Keep Following the True Light

When sea turtles hatch and dig their way out of the sand, they follow the light of the moon over the ocean, their home. Sometimes when clouds cover the light of the moon or there are too many beachfront artificial lights, they get disoriented. Recently in a movie, I saw some sea turtle protectors guide them on a cloudy night. The turtles saw another distant light, so they turned towards it. The protectors formed a line on their knees to block out the false light while one of them got on his boat and shone a bright light several feet from shore. The turtles turned again and finally arrived at their ocean home.

It sounds a lot like our spiritual journey in this life, doesn’t it? We may be following the True Light of love to dip ourselves into the healing waters of His grace, but distractions or temptations in this world can lure us and lead us away from Him. Maybe it’s not always intentional, but we get confused by all the artificial lights. Even Satan can masquerade himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and he constantly works to turn us away from the True Light. I’m so glad that He who is the Light of the world shines and prevails over all false lights and draws us to Himself, aren’t you?

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
‘I am the Light of the world.
If you follow Me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.'”
John 8:12
Never Give Up When the Going Gets Tough

Green sea turtle babies are only 2 inches long. It’s a looong walk to the ocean. Then there are the obstacles. Can you imagine what a big footprint in the sand or a piece of driftwood would look like to such a tiny turtle? In a video, I saw one flip to its back because of the deepness of the footprint, but he flipped himself back upright and kept on heading to the ocean. They persevere and trudge onward.

Photo by Mark Sullivan, NOAA affiliate.

Our journeys here on earth can be filled with mountains of troubles and pits of difficulties, obstacles that set us back or make us want to sit down in despair and forget about putting one foot in front of the other towards our eternal home with Jesus.

These little turtles persevere in the midst of obstacles and challenges, even in danger from predators. Cannot the same God who created them and gives them strength to move on also give us strength to endure?

No, it’s not easy, but God’s powerful love and mercy are more than enough, and He is always available, regardless of what situation we’re in. Yes, maybe we will feel flipped upside-down and unable to flip ourselves right-side-up again to keep going. But He promises us that His power is made perfect in weakness. He never said there won’t be troubles in this world, but He has promised He has a plan for our good and He’ll get us through.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.'”
2 Corinthians 12:9a
“But You, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.”
Psalm 22:19
“I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33


“A Living Prayer”
by Alison Krauss

“In this world I walk alone with no place to call my home
But there’s one who holds my hand
The rugged road through barren lands
The way is dark, the road is steep
But He’s become my eyes to see
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear
The Savior lives inside me there…”

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources
He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:16

Fighting From a Standpoint of Victory Already Won

victory-in-jesus

Satan knows exactly where our vulnerable spots are. He is a vindictive monster who wants to crush any hope we have. The closer we come to Jesus, the harder he tries to lure us away from Him.

Last week I read a Bible verse that often triggers bad memories. You may think – How could a Bible verse do that? How could God’s Word of love bring hurt?

It doesn’t. But some people abuse God’s Word by putting their own interpretation on it to justify hurting us. Like the minister who abused me did. When I come across this verse, my body and mind react. Fear grasps my heart in a vise-grip, and I want to run for my life. All the muscles in my body tense up, and the nausea rises up into my throat. A whirlwind of screaming and crying from a deep place in my heart press against my throat and eyes.

I shoved it all down and numbed myself to it, but the next day it came up again. I knew I had to address it and fight it with the truth.

I begged God to take away those memories and help me focus on His truth as He meant it to be. Not on the memories of how a man twisted its meaning to give a stamp of approval to his sinful lust.

God graciously reminded me:

To read His Word through His perspective, never man’s. His Word is meant to instruct us in the way of His love, salvation, and healing. It is NEVER meant to manipulate, to threaten, or to give an excuse to sinful actions.

To fight against the enemy and his deceitful tactics from a standpoint of victory already won by Him, not for a standpoint of victory. Fighting for victory or fighting from victory. Too often I wear myself out fighting for a victory of my own. I need to fight from the solid ground of God’s victory over Satan. The enemy can never get a foothold there.

That my heart is in His safe hands. He has access to every deep part of my brokenness, and He will continue to heal me layer by layer. Each time a painful memory is triggered, He makes me stronger in Him.

"For the enemy has pursued me,
  crushing me to the ground,
  making me live in darkness
  like those long dead.
  My spirit is weak within me;
  my heart is overcome with dismay.
  I remember the days of old;
  I meditate on all You have done;
  I reflect on the work of Your hands.
  I spread out my hands to You;
  I am like parched land before You."
  Psalm 143:4-6 HCSB

The enemy will pursue us and even crush us to the ground. Our hearts will faint within us and be overcome with anxiety and fear. But God…

I love those two words, don’t you? But God has already defeated the enemy. Yes, as long as we live, Satan is never going to give up, but God has given us a standpoint of victory we can fight from. A safe place where the devil has no access to.

“The Champion of Love”
by The Cathedrals

“He is higher than the highest
Greater than the great
No one will ever take His crown away
He is more mighty than the mightiest
He reigns from above
He’s the all-time, undisputed, undefeated
Champion of Love”

Jesus Will Carry Us

Jesus carries us

When we want to know Jesus more, when we long for Him to mold us more into His image, Satan works overtime to keep us away from Jesus. He craftily deceives us. He grasps our feet and pulls us away and downward into a deep, black hole where we can see no hope. Without the powerful love of Jesus, there is no way out.

Satan knows our vulnerable spots and uses them to his advantage. I was sexually abused by a minister decades ago, and I have dealt with it and worked through it, but sometimes emotional triggers still fling me back to that place where I felt like a puppet on strings with no voice – where my feelings or wishes didn’t matter. That place where my mind disconnected from my body so I wouldn’t feel. When triggers fling me into the past, shame and fear flood in and suck me down like quicksand. I desperately try to look up to Jesus and grab hold of His powerful hand, but it’s so hard sometimes to lift up my weary head and heart.

But again and again, God has been gracious to lift my heavy head and heart for me. During a conversation with my husband this morning, two truths captured my thoughts:

  1. Our past may mold our future, but it is God Who created us in His image and He molds us to be more like Him. So we couldn’t be in better hands.
  2. The pain we endure here on this earth is nothing compared to the glory we will one day experience.

While we wait for that glory, life here on earth won’t always be a picnic, but God has promised: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4) He made us. He will carry us. He will sustain us. He will rescue us. And all the powers of Satan and darkness will never prevail against God Who has all power in His hands.

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Often inspirational music uplifts me and gives me hope. In his song – Carry Me – Josh Wilson sings, “Carry me, carry me, carry me now from my sinking sand to Your solid ground. The only way I’m ever gonna make it out is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now…”