Herald Journal Columns
Sept. 19, 2005, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Of turtles and trust

By Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato

When something “out of the ordinary” happens to you once, you say, “that is strange” or “what are the odds of that happening?” But when it happens twice, you start to wonder why.

Last summer, I was having a motor problem on my boat. I fixed it and went to a local lake to try it out. As I was enjoying the smooth-running motor, I felt a bit of hesitation. I turned back, only to find a 12-inch diameter snapping turtle floating and severely bleeding.

Either the front of the lower unit of the motor or the prop had hit the turtle on its side, and it appeared it was mortally wounded. I felt so badly. I wondered how old that reptile was to get that large. And I wondered why I had hit it, with all that open area on the lake.

This summer, my son and I were out fishing on Van Duse Lake while at our cabin. As the daylight was fading, we put up the electric motor and took off for home, only to feel the same hesitation.

I thought, “It can’t be another turtle that I hit.” And I turned the boat around, only to find another snapper about 12 inches in diameter, floating and wounded.

I picked it up in the landing net and brought it to our dock, hoping it could survive, but it was bleeding severely. In the morning, I returned to find it was gone, but I don’t know how it could have survived.

How could I have hit another large snapper in all that open water?

Now, the feeling of hitting a turtle is bad enough. I especially feel for anyone who has been in an accident involving humans, who are made in God’s image.

Why do these things happen, when it seems that if the timing or location were just a bit different, nothing would have happened?

Can we go on trusting that God understands our heartache over these odd accidents? We need to remember that He is in control, though He allows the rules of nature to work most of the time, unless He interrupts it with a miracle.

Romans 8:19-21 reminds us that since sin entered the world, even creation groans to be set free from the frustration of earthly life.

If you’ve been involved in one of those odd accidents in life, don’t despair, but trust that God is in control. Could it be that God uses even these accidents to help remind us that earth, under the curse of sin, is a frustrating place to live at times?

Remember: He is preparing a perfect place, called Heaven, for those who repent of their sin and trust that His Son, Jesus died for their sins.

II Corinthians 4:18 says: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

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