“When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”
In April 2010 when Deepwater Horizon dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, hundreds of Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles were smothering in oil. The U. S. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries agents worked diligently to rescue, clean, and return these animals to the water.
In her book, The Great Ridley Rescue, (Sept. 1988. Mountain Press.p.180 ISBN 0-87842-229-3) Pamela Philips called this turtle the “heartbreak turtle.” This name was coined by fishermen who saw turtles dying after being “turned turtle” (turned on their backs.) The fishermen said they died of a broken heart.
I can tell you without a doubt that God did this for me. It was in my place of desperation that I came to know personally that “the Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) In my sorrow, I found unconditional love. In my state of rejection, I found a Savior who would never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). In my desperation, I found that there is always a way out. By the power of God’s Word, through the work of His Holy Spirit, and with the help of His people, I was rescued.
During that season of broken-heartedness, there were lonely Sunday afternoons when I felt myself sinking into despair. Just when I thought I could stand it no longer, the phone would ring. “I was just checking on you,” the voice on the other end would say. It was one of God’s emissaries, a Christian friend who had heeded the nudging of the Holy Spirit and picked up the phone.
There were troubled evenings when I wondered what my future would hold. Often, I’d get a message on the computer from an out-of-town friend. “God’s got a great plan for you,” she’d remind me. “He’s going to take care of you.” My friend was another agent that God enlisted to carry His message of encouragement.
The words of Isaiah, which Jesus quoted in the synagogue, were especially meaningful to me: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…” Jesus had come to heal my hurt; I clung to those words.
Maybe you know what it feels like to be “turned turtle. There are a lot of folks in Baton Rouge who know firsthand what it’s like to have their lives turned upside down.
In August 2016, 20 inches of rain inundated the Baton Rouge area, and thousands were washed out of their homes. Suddenly, people who were used to being independent and self-sufficient found themselves homeless and helpless as the floods overtook their dwellings, soaking all their earthly possessions in mud and dirty water.
“Father, I thank You and praise You because You are all-powerful and are fully able to rescue me in every desperate situation. I thank You that You are a very present help in time of need. You don’t always answer my prayers in the way that I expect, but you always do what is best. Help me to trust you, and help me to be obedient when You call me into service to help someone else who needs to be rescued.”
For His Glory,