This past weekend, my bestie Kelsey and I went for a walk at a popular park in Nashville. Just as we were beginning our walk, I saw her leap midair in excitement, yelling, “TURTLE!” We looked down to see a baby turtle, the size of a quarter, right at our feet.
Kels and I just paused and stared at it for a while – admiring his cute little head and getting way too close to it. Come to think of it, this little guy must have been scared out of his mind.
Because we were way too close for his liking, the turtle started to move away from us toward the grass. He was a long way from home. The grass looked like it could swallow him whole, and at the pace he was going, it would take him a long time to get to the river.
Kels felt some sympathy for the turtle, which I deeply respect. “Oh my gosh, should we move him closer to the water? It looks like he is about to go into this wilderness!” She said as she crouched down by the turtle, looking at him with kindness.
I, on the other hand, was already on my merry way – ready to continue the walk. My Apple Watch timer was on and I did not want to pause it because of a turtle who lost its way.
“I think we should just let nature run its course,” I responded. (Yes, looking back, I realize this was a very insensitive remark.)
Just when I was about to keep walking and hope Kelso would follow, a couple came up to the turtle and took sympathy for it too.
The guy looked at us and said, “Usually with turtles, they turn in the direction they want to go.”
The turtle had his eyes on the water. Yet he was far away. This is what led us to the grand finale, our new friend picking up this little guy, carrying the turtle daintily in his hand, and bringing him within feet of the river.
What would’ve taken the turtle hours just took him about 30 seconds with this man, who picked him up and put him exactly where he needed to be. He did not have to walk through any large pieces of grass to make his way to the place of life and abundance. It was done for him automatically.
GOD WILL MAKE A WAY
Isaiah 43:19 says:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
We, like this turtle, move pretty slow on our own. What could take us months or years can take God just a snap of his fingers.
When we are faced with a wilderness, a difficulty, an obstacle, we can choose to walk our way through it alone. We can choose the option of striving. In this turtle’s case, striving would have looked like taking forever to go through the tall grass, just hoping he’d make it to the water.
Or, we can accept help from the One who can make a way where there is no way. Who can get us through the wilderness and provide streams in the wasteland, just like that.
Ι don’t know what wilderness you find yourself in front of today – what looks like it is just way too difficult to walk through. You have two options. You can choose to walk through it yourself. Or you can choose to rely on God, and let Him take you there. You can choose to rely on self or you can choose to rely on the Lord.
And let me just reassure you – going by yourself is a much longer route than letting God take you there for you. What could take you ten years can take God the snap of His fingers. He is the best person for us to go to, because He can always do what we cannot.
ARE YOU STRIVING OR ARE YOU RELYING ON GOD?
Whenever I am faced with a big project, or a big goal, or a big dream… I can either try to get there on my own. Or I can try to get there with God.
I can always tell if I am relying on my own strength if I am exhausted, anxious, stressed, or staying up till obscene hours of the night.
But when I rely on the Lord to get there – I am comforted with so much more peace. What used to stress me out is actually so much easier. Because if He’s the one responsible for making a way, it’s not all on me. What a relief that is.
TURN IN THE DIRECTION YOU WANT TO GO
The turtle didn’t ask to be picked up, nor did the turtle work to be provided for. All he did was turn in the direction that he wanted to go.
My dear friend, you don’t have to strive. Wherever it is you want to be, you don’t have to get there on your own. In order for God to do what only He can do, you need to allow Him to do what only He can do. All you need to do is focus on where you are looking.
You don’t have to know “how” you’re going to get there. Let go of the strategies and what has been done before. He is doing a new thing! All it requires is for you to turn towards HIM, and seek Him. Fix your eyes towards Heaven and rely on Him to take you to the next destination.
And just before you start to walk into the wilderness alone, the grace of God will pick you up and put you exactly where you need to be. Without you even seeing it coming, you’ll be provided for abundantly.
God can do what we can’t. It’s about time we turned towards the direction of Jesus and watch Him do what only He can do. The water will sure taste good.
Ashley Hetherington is an author, content creator, and lifestyle blogger behind The Honey Scoop, a platform designed to add a sweet scoop of encouragement to your day. Through her Bible studies, books, and online content, she helps thousands of women grow their faith with biblical truth and practical application. Ashley has a degree in Journalism and Interactive Media Studies from Miami University. Ashley enjoys reading books, asking the question “why?”, and drinking too much coffee. She hopes to lead you closer to God and closer to the person He created you to be. Build your faith through her latest Bible study, Beauty for Ashes, which takes women on an 8-week journey to finding healing and freedom in the Lord.