Lessons from Happy the Hermit Crab

We had a tragedy in our family this summer.  A sweet little hermit crab named Happy, given to my daughter by her beloved kindergarten teacher, did not survive the molting process.  Perhaps because his “parents” (a.k.a. me and my husband) did not know that a hermit crab would molt.  And why didn’t we know?  Because we never read the directions that came with him.

I now know that the molting process for crabs is a very vulnerable time.  They shed their exoskeleton and are basically left “naked” and exposed—with no protection—for several weeks as their body changes and creates a new set of “armor.”  Those weeks are a time of tremendous growth and regeneration, but it is also a time when the crab is in his most fragile, vulnerable state. His only hope of survival is to seek refuge inside his shell or underneath the sand.  There, in that safe haven,

Blackeyed hermit crab (Pagurus armatus, armed ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

he can find rest and protection as he adapts to the growth and change that is happening in him.

Unfortunately…. Our family didn’t read the directions…so what should have been a time of growth and healing became a tragic disaster.

How about you?  Have you read the directions God gave you for YOUR life?  His directions fill the pages of the book He wrote to you. He reminds us there how to survive the times of “molting” in our own life – those times when our defenses are stripped from us and we feel “naked” and exposed to the harsh realities of this world.  Those times when our trials are so difficult that we cannot survive without help. His directions tell us to take refuge in Him:  Psalm 18:2 says “The LORD is my rock…in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

As painful as your personal “molting” times are, God has a plan for tremendous growth for you as you work through those difficult seasons. But you can’t survive the process on your own strength — Read the Directions, and take refuge!

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2 Comments on “Lessons from Happy the Hermit Crab

  1. Thanks for the reminder of the best, accurate GPS around when it comes to directions for living a good life. Raised Catholic I was never a reader of the Bible – we never had Bible studies when I was a kid or young adult. I am inspired by the way you can find the exact verse to fit the situation. Keep them coming. Love you, Mom.

  2. I find myself thinking of you and Sean as I read this. With the book coming out you will be very vulnerable, everyone is going to see behind the shell. Perfect blog for these next couple weeks as you grow and change, but take a risk. Keeping you both in my prayers-asking that you feel the joy and satisfaction of the accomplishment and the strength of everyone’s love. I know Sean will be stressed and is worried about being judged. I hope he can see that people will be amazed by his resilience and your faith.

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