Their appearance is strange. They carry a roof-like structure on their back. They can be anywhere from one half to 1500 pounds. They are found in freshwater or in the sea, or on land. Undisturbed they can live 100 years. They are the only reptile with a shell. It is the turtle, of course. (Land dwellers are often called tortoises.)
Actually, the shell is part of the skeleton, being attached to the backbone. It is not a removable house. The turtle cannot leave its shell. Its shell does provide a hiding place when it is threatened. Even those who cannot pull themselves all the way into the shell find some protection from the shell.
Turtles are air breathers, but some can absorb oxygen from the water making them able to stay underwater for hours and even months during hibernation in temperate climates. Turtles have no teeth but they do have powerful jaws. They are omnivorous, meaning that they eat a variety of things dead and living, plant and animal.
Sea turtles until recently were rarely seen. They appear on land, returning to the beach of their birth, to mate, lay eggs and return again to the sea, sometimes traveling thousands of miles. The hatchlings must fend for themselves, digging out and making their way to the sea amidst many predators on land and in the sea. Only one or two out of up to two hundred hatchlings make it.
Land turtles (tortoises) can take five hours to walk one mile, but then again, there is no need to run. Tortoises are usually slow, quiet, and peaceful. They don=t move fast, but they can plod.
The dictionary says that to plod is to walk slowly with a heavy tread, to work slowly, methodically, and thoroughly. Turtles plod. We live in an age of speed. To us faster is better. It is not so with God. God is not impressed with speed. Ecclesiastes 9:11 tells us that "the race is not to the swift." God looks for those who will walk with Him, those who will plod along, slowly, carefully, deliberately, loyally, faithfully. These are those who go from strength to strength (Psalm 84:7), from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). They grow little by little (see Exodus 23:30 and Deuteronomy 7:22). Blades of grass grow quickly. They also die quickly. Giant oaks take years of sunshine and rain and winds and snows. Take time to plod along with God.
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