Last Saturday, in “Mrs. Loggerhead, Part 1”, you were introduced to a female Loggerhead turtle, who, despite her significant handicap, pursued her God-given goals. We learned from Mrs. Loggerhead that we cannot let our physical/mental/spiritual/emotional handicaps stop us from doing our God-given responsibilities either, and that just like the naturalist took over where the damaged she-turtle couldn’t, God takes over for us where we cannot.
One of the excuses I often voice and hear others voice about why we don’t pursue our God-given responsibilities is that we don’t have adequate skills/knowledge/wisdom etc. to adequately reach people. Is this a real concern? Or is it just an excuse?
To answer this, I would like to present the “rest of the story” of Mrs. Loggerhead…
After she left the beach that night, the naturalist guiding our tour removed the eggs from the egg chamber, dug a new egg chamber under a canopy, and re-buried all 113 of her eggs!
One of the reasons sea turtles in general are considered endangered is because of increasing beach temperatures. Reptiles rely on the temperature of the sand in which the eggs incubate to determine the gender of the hatchling. The cooler eggs lower in the nest will become male, while the eggs in the upper, warmer parts of the nest will become female. Increasing sand temperatures are resulting in more females hatching than males. As a result, when a she-turtle lays her eggs in a spot on the beach at Mon Repos that is known to be too warm, a naturalists will move the eggs to a new egg chamber dug under a canopy. The shade from the shelter shields the nest from the fierce Australian sun. This provides cooler temperatures for the eggs to incubate, thus ensuring a higher percentage of male hatchlings and a more optimal natural balance to the sea turtle population.
Mrs. Loggerhead, along with all the other she-turtles who nest at Mon Repos, have no idea their efforts will not result in a healthy ratio of male vs. female hatchlings. In fact, they didn’t even question this. They just do what they are created to do; and unbeknownst to them, where they lack knowledge and wisdom, the naturalists pick up the slack.
How does this apply to fulfilling the Great Commission?
Let’s take a careful look at Jesus’ final instructions: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'” (Matt. 28:18-20 ESV).
When we read these verses, we do not see any reference to adequate schooling, to formulas, to how-to guides or recipes. In fact, the only “training” that we see is when Jesus says, “And behold, I am with youalways, to the end of the age.” In other words, Jesus is saying to each one of us that it doesn’t matter how ignorant or as inept we might be. As long as we go, make disciples and teach them to observe His commands, He promises to be with us! He will take the “seeds” we might drop in the wrong places and put them where they will grow. He will nurture the bad soil. He will shade the “seeds” from danger and cause them to not only “sprout”, but to “sprout” in a healthy ratio. He will pick up any slack created by our ignorance.
How does Jesus do this?
The Bible tells us that it is because: “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me…” (Matt. 28:18 ESV).
Jesus has the authority, and He has promised to help. Our only job is to follow the lead of Mrs. Loggerhead, along with all the other she-turtles of Mon Repos. We are to stop worrying about how adequate or inadequate our efforts will be. Instead we are to just go out and make disciples, teaching them to observe Jesus’ commands. Then, just like that naturalist on the beach, we can count on Jesus to do the rest.
Mrs. Loggerhead will never know what her male to female hatchling ratio was. In fact, she will never know how many of her eggs hatched at all. She didn’t need to know. She just did what she was programed to do. In the same way, we will likely never know this side of Heaven how many of the “seeds” we plant actually grow to fruition. But just like Mrs. Loggerhead, this isn’t something we need to know. We must simply do what we have been commissioned to do. We must: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20a), ever trusting that: “…behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20b ESV).
What is stopping you from accomplishing your God-given purpose?
Whatever it is, take lessons from Mrs. Loggerhead and don’t let it stop you. Just…go!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Mrs. Loggerhead” mini-series, please click here.)