While growing up our family had a turtle hanging out in our back yard. I don’t remember how he came to be there, but I do remember using him like a garbage disposal. He took care of all the vegetable scraps. It was fun to watch him eat lettuce, although it seemed he took forever to do it.
We also grew up with cats. Because our turtle was so slow, our cats would often corner him. Of course, there was no way he could out run them but he survived these encounters by stopping and withdrawing into his shell. Sometimes it would take a long time but eventually, the cats would lose interest and leave him alone.
Our verse today is an encouragement in facing the hard times in life. They corner us and often there is no way to avoid them. Yet, the Lord promises a positive outcome: perseverance. That patient endurance forms a godly character in me. The more difficult my situation, the more likely I am to think about the hope of eternity.
God gave the turtle a wonderful coping mechanism in that shell. He could easily wait out the cat’s assault. By His presence God provides me with a similar way to cope. He is my refuge. He is my hiding place. He provides shelter. Through Him I can endure and wait it out.
It is God who gives perseverance and encouragement (Rom.15:5). I do not know what tomorrow may bring. But I do know that He is there and He will give me what I need to persevere. At the first sign of trouble, may I hide myself in Him.