Lifes Lessons


Tiny Tim the Turtle and a lesson in prayer

In “Miracles do Happen,” a book published by Guideposts, (pp. 19-21), my attention was captured by a story of Brad, a four-year-old boy who for some reason developed a keen interest in having a turtle. So he prayed! But when he was allowed to visit the backyard, he didn’t find a turtle.

His mother told him that God answers prayer but sometimes it takes longer to see the answer. So the little fellow returned to the backyard and prayed again. He reported that God said the turtle wasn’t here yet but He was bringing it.

His parents also got involved in the prayer – not so much that their child would get the turtle he desired but that his faith would not be crushed when the turtle did not appear. Their pastor also took an interest.

Several days passed. By now the turtle “God was bringing” had a name – Tiny Tim, the Tiny being for the size Brad expected in his turtle.

Then, when Dad was trying to cushion the blow his son would surely experience when no turtle was forthcoming, the phone rang. It was their pastor who solemnly asked to speak with Brad.

He had found two turtles in his yard after church and felt sure one of them was meant for Brad. Elated, Brad exclaimed his belief that this was, indeed, his turtle, and could hardly wait until his pastor brought it to him that evening.

Tim lived a comfortable life with Brad as his companion.

What a lesson in prayer Brad has to share with his three sons. Yes, at age thirty-five, Brad still has quarters in the basement assigned as Tim’s domain.

I’m guessing here, but I feel pretty sure Brad’s sons know the story of Tim and appreciate that family member just as their Dad does.

The story reminded me of one summer when we lived on the mountain in Kentucky.

One day, as we traveled to a neighboring community, we slowed to allow a turtle (in that area known as a terrapin) to safely cross the road. Then, thinking the next driver might not be so concerned, we picked up the animal. We would take it to our mountaintop home and turn it loose.

A week or two later, the same scenario replayed itself. Then again.

In all, I think we rescued six terrapins that summer. We would put them on the backseat floor until we got home, then introduce them to their new quarters. Most of them, we never saw again but at least they weren’t road-kill.

One, however, took our attention. This one did not just cower into his shell when we tried to pick him up. He stretched out his legs and went for a walk! Again, in the car, he exhibited his independence and refused to be just a dark shell on the floor. We named that one – High Stepper. Several times after giving him his freedom, we did see him again!

No, saving one (or six!) turtles didn’t change the world but it did change the world for those one or more wild animals.

When Jesus died for mankind, His saving grace was all inclusive. Yes, He died for me, but His death atones for you as well. Be sure you come to a saving knowledge of Him! Come out of your turtle shell and bask in His presence.

Tiny Tim the Turtle and a lesson in prayer