Monday, November 20, 2017

The naked turtle

“I, the Lord, am the one speaking to you. Come, let’s discuss this. Even if your sins are as dark as red dye, that stain can be removed and you will be as pure as wool that is as white as snow." (Isaiah 1:18 ERV)
If God were to speak to you today, with an invitation to "discuss things" just between the two of you, what would that invitation outline as the topic of "discussion"? I daresay it would involve a little different outline for each of us, but it all begins with the discussion of where we are at in relationship with him. The nearness, or distance we maintain is at the center of his attention and he is going to bring us to the place we recognize this has to be our "numero uno" focus in life.
"Come, let's discuss this" may seem a little frightening for some simply because there has been very little "exposed" about one's life up to this point. The "cover" has been working well - or at least you think it has. Could it be possible the "cover up" you thought you were maintaining hasn't been working all that well? Sometimes I don't even know I have my "cover up" on! It is like a turtle in his shell - I pull it on instinctively and just walk around with it on me, thinking nothing of it!
Then comes the day God asks me to shed the shell....and it is harder than it looks. Have you ever seen a naked turtle? I have, but only in cartoons! In the first place, what is under all that shell is not much to look at! It is the shell that protects - with the shell gone the turtle would need to find a new form of protection. A while ago, I saw a show on turtle rescue. One of the vets actually made tiny "plates" to fix the holes in a turtle's shell because he knew just how critical it was to the turtle.
What we fail to recognize is that we AREN'T turtles - we don't need the shell for our safety! It is nothing more than an awkward hiding place for us! It is an encumbrance that we tote around, but which is little more than an additional burden for us to carry around all day! We don't need plates to strengthen the shell - we need to get free of it and stop carrying it around. While dropping our defenses isn't all that comfortable, when we do, God is able to "discuss" things with us that he'd never be able to let us see otherwise. Just sayin!