It is our last week in Florida before we work our way back home in just a few days visiting family and friends along the way. I have so enjoyed my jogs on the beach with our Abba, feeling Yeshua’s presence so palpably, hearing from Him, sharing my prayers and thoughts. So of course I should not be that surprised that we finish with a big “Wow”.
On Sunday while jogging I was listening to the Daily Dvar passage from Romans 14 about not judging our brothers’ and sisters’ faith and practices. Each is to be loved without looking down on the other’s walk with God. Rather than imposing our ways on others and creating stumbling blocks, we are reminded that what each of us does for Him brings each closer to Him.
So with all of these thoughts in mind, at just the moment that I am away from anyone else, even Sid and our pup Sofie who I had just left, that extra two minutes took me to just the moment when a rescue release took place. A cart pulled up right in front of me on the beach to let out a beautiful, huge sea turtle being returned to the sea, most likely having been nursed back to health by the local oceanographic institute.
Just the night before Sid and I had gone to dinner with the Jewish couple I had mentioned a few weeks ago who really could not understand how a Jewish person could believe in Yeshua. At the dinner, they wanted to hear my testimony, and so I gave it. It was well received. The day before that the wife had attended our Bible study group. Today I gave her my Tree of Life Bible, which she really loves, and she plans to continue in our Bible study group. (I plan to attend by Zoom.)
I don’t know their walk. That is between them and HaShem. I do know that conversation is leading to understanding. And it feels like just yesterday that I walked in their very shoes on my slow, slow, slow, walk leading to faith in Yeshua as our promised Messiah.
As I thought of all that had just transpired, the Romans passage, my testimony the night before, my friends’ faith journeys, somehow that turtle’s walk to the sea spoke to me as well. As others’ paths of faith may seem slow, or unformed, embracing the wonder of the walk means to not compare, to not judge. That turtle’s fight to return to the sea, though slow, still represented perseverance and healing. When finally released, his swim on that first wave was determined, fighting back for what he had lost, needing the life giving force beyond understanding.
The walk of the other is inspiring not just to him or her but to those around the seeker as we witness the healing, the intimacy regained, the fearsome grandeur. How the walk of another moves each of us closer to Him in our own walks too, as we experience without judgment, but rather with eyes of love. Through our love of others, we feel His love too.
We are so often blind to His Ways, injured in mind, body, or spirit, obstacle after obstacle before us as so many secular influences pull at us from many directions – detractors, spiritually unsupportive families and friends, ungodly behaviors, popular media, busy-ness, self deception, poorly placed priorities.
Yet just as the slow but determined steps of the turtle led him to the sea, so too, each of us if we keep our eye on Him find Him, for He is with us in each step. We may not be fast in seeing His Presence, or appreciate all the miraculous life that lies before us, all that has been given to us, but we are to persevere, even when the way is hard. Perhaps the slower, the better. For often the slower the journey, the richer the reward, and the more we see and appreciate along the way.
The hare thought he was faster than the turtle, but he, too, learned that slow and steady win the race. To slow and steady add Scripture and the race has already been won.