It always starts small, yet the impact is large.
Something grabs our attention, holds it, and then slowly lures us away from our joy. Before we know it we are off course and headed down a different path.
“Sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce, it’s out to get you; you’ve got to master it.” Gen. 4:7MSG
Last week I had the honor of having two of my grandchildren stay with me. They are eight and four. Need I say more? It was quite the busy week, I did not feel the cushions of a chair until around 9:30pm each night. Those of you with little children at home know exactly what I am talking about. And, I can see the other grandparents out there that have kept their grandkids for a week nodding in agreement.
What fun it was! Our days began with Vacation Bible School, then like clockwork home for lunch, and off to the pool for a few hours to burn off some extra energy.
I find that God often shows me a glimpse of how He is with us when I have my grandkids. It is portrayed in the parental/grandparental and child roles. He may reveal himself to you in a different way, but I am very relational and visual. I need to experience it and see it first hand to really get it. You may be different and just understand, but I need a little more insight. Anyone else?
This particular day at the pool the picture He gave was as clear as the blue water of the pool. The kids had met another little boy and were playing, swimming, there was a continuous explosion of cannonballs being fired off that caused the water to wave up like the seas. The laughter, joy, and excitement spread among all of them as the adults watched to make sure they remained safe.
“He never takes his eyes off the innocent.” Job 36:7a NLT
All of a sudden a tiny little frog appeared at the side of the pool. It couldn’t have been more than 2cm tall. It just sat there, quietly, as if watching the kids play. I have no idea how they even saw it, but it only took one. Once one child saw it, they alerted the other, until all three had stopped playing. They were all affixed to the side of the pool. All six eyes on this little 2cm frog that just sat there. Behind them their floats, and noodles drifted away. Their goggles began to sink to the bottom of the pool. The vast blue waters calmed as the children remained motionless waiting to see what this frog would do.
As they looked one of my grandkids tried to touch it. They began to have conversations about the frog. I tried to tell them to leave the frog alone. Yet, my words went to the wayside as they hung on the side of the pool fixated on the frog. Parents and grandparents can you relate? I must have been speaking to the air.
“Temptations come from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” Jas. 1:14 NLT
Then to their amazement this little frog began to hop away from the pool. At once one by one, they each were out of the pool following this little frog. All the while their eyes were not on what was ahead of them but, looking down at the frog. It hopped to the rod iron fence, and there they stopped. This little frog took them three feet from the crystal blue waters they were enjoying.
“These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” Jas. 1:15 NLT
God showed me – isn’t that how it is with us? Present company included. We are living fine, enjoying all life has to offer, and then all of a sudden something catches our attention. It fixates us. Keeps us drawn to it. Perhaps like the children, we get others to look at it too. We talk about it. Maybe even try to touch it while are feet are still in the place where life was good?
God sees us looking. And like a parent tell us “leave it alone.” Oh we hear Him, but like children His words travel through our ears and out the other side.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” Jas. 1:22NLT
We have a thought. A small thought, but it fixates out mind. Like the frog it sits there.
Before we know it, we have left the pool of His blessings, living freely, splashing around, having fun, and now chase the desire that captured us.
Sin always starts small. Like the frog it can be just 2cm high, yet the impact is large. Satan doesn’t need a tall statue to grab our attention. Whatever it is he will use it to draw us further away from God. Once he has our full attention, like the frog, he will begin to hop away taking us with him.
“A thief is only there to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” Jn. 10:10MSG
I realize our desire may not be to chase a literal frog. But, for each of us there lies in wait an unmet need, desire, a longing for something. Be alert for the frog that shows up. It may look like a way to that need, desire, or longing, yet will pull us away from God.
“Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into hard times.” 1 Pe. 5:8-9MSG
When hard times come, and they will. When the distraction is sitting right by the pool of your life, stay focused. Stay in His word. Pray. And, instead of fixing our eyes on, and chasing, the frog –
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.” Heb. 12:2 MSG
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015
*picture by allposters