My wife and I were walking in beautiful Greenfield Park
a couple of weeks ago. As we walked my keen eye noticed something in the busy street that ran alongside the path. At first I thought they were large coins, but there were too many. But then I noticed little tiny legs and a head on each dark green “coin.” They were baby turtles! How in the world did they get in the road?
My assumption is that the mama turtle waddled across the street to a grassy area outside the park. It was there that she laid her eggs. When they hatched, the babies instinctively started for the “promised land” of the park, with its cool grass and calm waters.
Unfortunately, there were obstacles in the way. First they had to get down the six inch curb that lined the street. Then they had to run (if you can call what turtles do running) across that busy street. Then, if they didn’t end up as turtle pancakes, they would encounter the greatest obstacle of them all, another six inch curb.
You may think I’m heartless to draw you a picture of the futility of a baby turtle with half inch legs trying to jump up a six inch curb, but it is for a point. Frankly, I don’t think any of the turtles were able to pull off a Michael Jordan sized leap and scale the curb. I do find it humorous to imagine the turtles flying up the side of the curb as if they were attached to bungee cords they use in some of the Chinese martial arts films. In reality, the turtles only chance of reaching their promised land was for a hand to reach down, scoop them up and place them on the top of the curb.
We humans have the same predicament. We are separated from God by an un-climbable wall, equal to the size of the Grand Canyon
. Even the best mountain climbers would not be able to scale that wall. You see, that wall represents our sin; our imperfections when we are compared to God’s Perfection. We cannot step into God’s Promised Land without a divine hand of grace to scoop us out of the mess we are in and set us on the other side.
Jesus is that hand. He came to meet us in the street. To lift us out of the danger we are in. To keep us from being “turtle pancakes” in the road of life. Jesus is the perfection that wraps itself around our imperfection so we can stand before God in His heaven.
Do you see it now? I think that’s why believers in Jesus get so frustrated with non-believers. We can see you struggling. We can see you trying to climb the six inch curb with half inch legs. We can see you trying with all your might. But we also see the 1 ton Duelly Crew Cab pick-up truck coming fast. We want to reach down and scoop you up and set you on the curb! But we can’t. We can’t pull you up. You can’t climb up. It’s your choice. Stay where you are, or ask for God's hand to save you. You have to ask for divine help. Reach up from the bottom of the pit you are in. Reach high into the infinite. Call out the name of Jesus and ask Him to be your Lord (leader) and Savior (forgiver). He will, and we can celebrate on the other side together with Him.
(Oh, and don't go back into the street)
Pastor Jay Merritt writes about God in every day observations.