My family and I recently had the joy of being “home” at my parents’ house. While I was there, many memories came flooding back to me of the time I spent there two years ago recovering from GBS.

Back then, I would sit on my parents’ deck for long periods, doing nothing but watching the turtles in the yard. Being incapacitated and needing rest, I had a lot of time to think, and I did a lot of thinking about those turtles.

When I saw a turtle back then—and even today—I would think about patience and calmness. And I would remember Psalm 46:10: “He [God] says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’”.

The onset of GBS was like the Lord forcing me to hear him say, “Be still.” In the two years since that time, I have continued to learn a lot about being still and waiting for His “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12 KJV).

One of the things I have learned about in a much deeper way is Isaiah 30:15, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”.

My folks also have lots of squirrels in their back yard. The squirrels are a lot more exciting to watch, but like the fabled rabbit, they are no match for the perseverance and endurance of the turtle.

Just as we coach our urban ministry partners in this vital principle, I continue to learn how important the principle is for us all. May we all run the race here on earth as the Lord directs—with the turtle’s endurance, found in being still.