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There is a true story that is told of a loggerhead turtle. A loggerhead turtle is a huge turtle—one of those mammoth ones you might see in a zoo. In this story, the female was getting ready to give birth, so she climbed up onto the sand dune in order to lay her turtle eggs. But after she did, she became disoriented and was not walking back to the water for some reason. That would have been the natural thing for her to do. But instead, she began walking further out on the sand.

Seeing this, some of the rangers came, and they put shackles on the loggerhead turtle because she was too big for them to lift. They tied up her legs and flipped her on her back. Then they attached a chain to the shackles and began to drag her upside down with a four-wheeler back to the water.

Now, this turtle’s life has been jerked around, messed with, and she’s no doubt in some discomfort, despite the best attempts by the rangers to be gentle with her. But in order for her to life to be saved and her destiny preserved, that was the only viable option. If the rangers stood and shouted at this turtle to turn around, she wouldn’t have understood. They did what they had to do to get her where she needed to go.

Yes, God’s Spirit does speak to us, and He can guide us with His Word. But more often than not, we are as the psalmist prayed we wouldn’t be—needing to be led like the turtle, pulled—pushed, prodded. We read, “Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you,” (Psalm 32:9).

God cares too deeply for us to let us keep going down the wrong path or in the wrong direction. And He will drop an unexpected journey—a detour—in our way to get us turned around. Sometimes, that may mean being flipped on our back, or shackled by our feet. Sometimes, that may mean being disoriented even within our own disorientation. Sometimes, that might mean being drug along until we finally feel the familiarity of our home. Once the turtle felt the water, she could be untied and put right-side up again. Once she realized where she was, she was set free.

But in order for her to get to her destiny, she had to be flipped, turned and then drug. Just like Joseph from the pit to the camel. God enters our situations in detours and at times that requires a jerk, flip, tweaks and pulls. We may yell in our hearts, “What are you doing to me God? Where are you taking me? Why can’t I understand?”

God answers, often too quietly for us to hear over our own shouts, “I’m taking you exactly where you need to be. Trust Me.”
For His kingdom,

Tony Evans


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