The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
· Psalm 37:23 ·
My husband slowed the car and pulled over. It didn’t take long for me to notice the turtle on the side of the road. David’s rescued many turtles in his time, coaxing and redirecting them, convincing the shelled creatures that they really don’t want to cross the busy highway.
This one’s already been hit by a car,” he said. “Its shell is cracked and bleeding.”
At home, my wildlife biologist husband made phone calls and spoke with the closest turtle rehabilitator hundreds of miles away.
“I’m going to super-glue the shell,” David announced. “It could be its only chance of survival.”
David applied glue to the black shell peppered with yellow spots. He shared his biologist’s trivia knowledge while he worked meticulously:
“The number and arrangement of dots on a spotted turtle signifies the reptile’s age. The hard shell, or carapace, protects the turtle from most predators, though raccoons and muskrats manage to dine on them frequently. When frightened, a spotted turtle often dives into the water and burrows into the mud.”
God’s concern for detail in each of his creations in nature reminds me he cares about details in my life too. Details like…
› The husband he prepared for me, the one that would be the father of our four children.
› Those precious now-adult children he gifted me with and blessed me to be able to homeschool.
› The wisdom I needed to become a school teacher and the fortitude to teach little children in three states before becoming a stay-at-home mom.
› The stamina to endure a twenty-year career in the Navy as a military wife, facing several deployments and the challenges of the Gulf War.
› The commitment to complete twenty-five years as a homeschooling mom.
› And later, the words that I needed to become a writer.
David spoke softly about the spotted turtle while he worked carefully, as if he were lecturing in a college biology lab. David’s care for one of God’s precious animals reminded me of the gentle father that David had always been with our own kids.
And that reminded me of our Heavenly Father’s care for all of his human masterpieces. He knit us and put us together in such miraculous ways, physically and emotionally, to live the life he purposed in us.
Sometimes that life goes smoothly, and I journey along the highway of life without difficulty.
But often in this world, challenges come along, like the loss of a loved one. Unplanned unemployment. An unwelcomed diagnosis. Betrayal of a dear friend. And a virus that affects the entire globe.
Challenges that wound and scar, seemingly permanently sometimes. Trials that redirect me or difficulties that force me to lean into my Heavenly Father more than ever before. Yet God has a way of meticulously mending me and reminding me that every detail of my life, scars and all, are important to him.
David built a makeshift pen underneath a mulberry tree in our yard while the mended turtle rested in a box in the garage. Once the glue was completely dry, David moved the turtle to the pen to give it a chance to recover completely, saying, “He’ll love snacking on these fresh mulberries on the ground.”
After several days, David released the little guy and wished him luck. And you know what? Months later, David spotted our turtle friend in the ditch near our house, scarred shell and all! He’d survived!