In our everyday lives, we don’t often encounter turtles out and about. In fact, I never seem to see them unless I am racing down the highway and suddenly notice one in the middle of the road. I am extremely relieved when I am able to dodge the reptilian traveler and hope that my fellow highway drivers will see the shell-clad guy as well and be able to avoid that horrible “bump” sound that can haunt one’s ears for years.
When we forget about highway turtles and think about turtles in their natural habitats, we see that the turtle species is safe and protected from any and all enemies, being able to bring their head and feet inside that shell and be totally safe. The only time a turtle is truly helpless in the wild is when he somehow gets flipped over on his back and his bottom shell is face up, left to bake in the sun. Not to mention, this position inhibits his ability to reach food and life-giving water.
What does an upside-down turtle have to do with me, you might ask? This upside-down turtle example has been a great reminder for me lately . . . a reminder for me to keep my thoughts steadfast on the promises in God’s word. God’s word promises me such things as:
He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)
He promises me that I am more than a conqueror through Christ (Romans 8:37)
My steps are ordered (Psalms 37:23)
He has good things in store for you and me (1 Corinthians 2:9)
He promises us peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)
A sure foundation to stand on (Isaiah 33:6)
When I keep my mind on all of these promises, my mind is totally covered like that tough, impenetrable shell of my turtle friend. But when I start to doubt and question things, I become confused and, like an upside-down turtle, I am exposed to attacks of fear and anxiety. I am learning to stay “flipped upright” in my thinking.
We can practice believing that what His word says is true and, instead of telling our lying enemy to “talk to the hand,” we can say, “Talk to the shell.” For example, my flipped-over thoughts worry, “How will I help my college-aged student if she is all the way across the country and needs me?” My shell-up thinking says, “God has her right in the palm of His hand.” Maybe your flipped-over thoughts want to nag at you, “What’s going to happen if your husband doesn’t find employment soon?” And your shell-up thinking declares, “God takes care of those who love Him and put Him first.”
I believe this shell-up thinking can become our everyday, normal, go-to thinking. The more we practice knowing His word and choosing to believe it, the quicker those great thoughts come to our hearts. How about you? Is there a pattern of thought that you are agreeing with that has your underbelly exposed to fear? What we think determines how we act, and those negative, doubting thoughts want to steal our joy. I choose today to stay under the protective shelter of thoughts of faith, the permanent shell of the fact that I am more than a conqueror and so are you!
So how about it? I choose “shells up!” Wanna join me?