Every day I walk past the same pond. Every day I look at the scenery and the setting because it’s quite beautiful. There are typically geese in the grass, ducks in the water, kids throwing stones, and all sorts of other happy activity. However, Last week when I went past the pond I noticed something quite different. The sun was shining bright that day so the pond was a popular place to be. On this particular afternoon I noticed several people crowding around to look at a branch that had fallen into the pond. A portion of one of its limbs was sticking out of the water, and on that branch was quite a sight. Perched on the branch with their faces to the sun were three turtles. They had obviously swum to the branch, crawled onto it, and stuck their heads out to sit in the sunshine. Now, I don’t know how common it is to see turtles sticking their heads out, but on this day, it sure was fun to see. Because turtles are animals that like to stay close inside their shell, and they are generally shy, reserved, and keep to themselves, I don’t feel like I get to see their faces very often. And on this beautifully sunny day, these turtles had something different in mind. It was spring, the sun had finally thawed the last bit of Minnesota snow, and the turtles were stretching their faces toward the sun. I watched them for a while. It was such a sweet picture. Three little turtles, sitting on the branch sunbathing. As I sat there watching them, I had to ask myself, “do I need a little push to crawl out of my safe space? Do I need to take a break and look towards the sun?”
Whether the turtles know who God is or not I could not tell you. But I do know turtles understand nature, and all of its beauty. They know when it’s a good time to come out of their shell and look towards the sun. How about you? Are there times you find yourself staying safe inside your shell? Are there days or seasons that you would like to crawl back into your spot and avoid the goodness that is all around you? How good and healthy and holy is it for us to lean our heads out towards the sun. God knows when we need some spring healing. He knows when our hearts need to thaw, whether it’s from a long cold winter or whether it’s from a hardened relationship, or difficult space. God wants to shine his brilliance all over you. He wants to warm your heart with the glow of his glory. Nature is God’s masterpiece, and he shares it with us. Have you turned your face to the sun recently? Have you let the warmth and goodness of God spill all over you? I pray that you do, and that you are filled with his presence.
“the heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands”.