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TURTLES…are reptiles. They have a special bony shell which is developed from their ribs and acts as a shield against predators. Maybe their shell is what has caused them to survive for so long. There are 327 known species alive today. Did you know that the Hawaiian word ‘honu’ means sea turtles and represents long life? They have long been symbols of patience and wisdom. Slow too, as in the tortoise and the hare. Who wins?
We have had them as ‘pets’ at various stages of life. Some were the very small ones. So cute! Creating their habitat is a lot of fun. And their love for bugs and lettuce is widely known. Then you have the ones that are sizable, even the ‘snapping turtles’. To be avoided. I love the shell and their heads sticking out, and withdrawing. We were at the country club a few years back and we saw a couple of them meandering across the 18th green. A few white gulls descended on them and started pecking their shells. They took cover for several minutes and then the birds flew away. Moments later, they came out of their shells andproceeded on their slow journey across the green to the lake.
When they swim for a while, especially in the lower depths of the water, they get cold I guess and surface to find a bank, rock or limb to bask in the sun to get warm. Sometimes you see individual ones and other times there is a full family (a bale). As you draw near to them, they become frightened and duck into their shell or slither back into the water for safety. They feel secure in their natural habitat. And that is where they feed.
Our grandson, Will and I were riding in the golf cart around the course this past week observing these interesting creatures. This photo shows one on a stone, and he watched us carefully as we approached. There he was, peering at us, all covered with mud. Only wish I knew what he was thinking. Then suddenly, he dived in and swam away into his refuge, the lake. As I was watching this happen, a few thoughts came to my mind.
We are each covered with mud (sin), so the need for cleansing takes over. And the attacks from our enemies are ever present. But where do we go to be cleansed, to feel safe? What, who is our refuge? On dry ground Tommy the Turtle is more like a sitting duck for many predators. He’s verrry slow-but in the refuge of the water, he is swift and quite safe. Tommy is well camouflaged in his natural habitat. His creator designed it that way.
God Himself is our refuge, our safe haven; and we are made clean by the shed blood of Christ. Jesus saw this when he made the ultimate sacrifice. We are his, designed to be hidden in him. “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). You is ‘self’! Covered with mud and lost; out of the element in which you were designed at creation to dwell. That is what redemption accomplished. When the Father now looks at you hidden by faith in Christ, he does not see the old dirty man, but he sees you all dressed in the righteous robes of Christ. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:11).
Tommy would tell us that the safest place to be is in the habitat designed for you. Christ Jesus is your Habitat! In whatever you are facing or comes your way, take refuge in Him. The Lord assures us that hidden in his Son, we have a safe habitat.“In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God” (Psa. 62:7). Hidden but safe! Thanks, Tommy; life surely does speak to us, daily!
 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” 
Psalm 19:1-4 NIV
Copyright 2017
Bill C. Dotson
Scripture taken from NKJV
Certain facts on turtles came from kidskonnect.com

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