(Article submitted to Uinta County Herald Crosstalk Column)
I must say it’s been a long winter so far. I’m thankful for all the snow we’ve had but there’s a longing in me for Punxsutawney Phil to be right with his forecast of an early spring. Though this less than dependable furry forecaster gets it right only 39% of the time I’m hoping he’s right this time because I’m ready for spring to come and the frogs to start croaking again. We enjoy listening to their gentle background noise on summer nights where I live.
Frogs are fine as far as I’m concerned, that is as long as they are off in the distance along a creek where they belong. My thoughts would be very different about them if they were in our house, bed, oven, clothing and food supply. How horrible it would be if they were in everything. Believe me, I would be no Pharaoh when it came to frogs if this were the case.
In chapter 8 of the Old Testament book of Exodus you find the story of the second plague God used in His process of delivering the Children of Israel from bondage under Pharaoh’s cruel hand. If Pharaoh refused to let them go, God promised that frogs would be everywhere. Pharaoh refused, so at God’s command Aaron stretched forth Moses’ rod and the frogs came up out of the waters and covered the land.
You have to wonder why God chose frogs to afflict the people of Egypt, until you understand that one of Egypt’s goddesses was a woman with the head of a frog. Heket, this goddess of fertility, water and renewal was believed to breathe life into each infant before being placed in the mother’s womb and she was also looked to for protection. She failed along with all the other gods of Egypt to bring deliverance. Interestingly, every plague against Egypt was a confrontation by the God of the Hebrews with the gods of the Egyptians. They all fell short of deliverance every time.
The Egyptians grew weary of the frogs after a few days and there seemed to be no relief in sight so Pharaoh called on Moses to get rid of them and promised to let his people go to worship their God afterwards. Moses agreed and simply required of Pharaoh one thing, to “just say when”. Pharaoh surprisingly said “tomorrow” and in doing so reveals what I think is a very strange quality of stupidity we may all possess at times. He put it off until tomorrow!
How often, do we, when afflicted with some kind of problem easily put off the pathway to deliverance until a later time? Even though we want our marriage to work or our relationship with our children to be better, or know we need help with an addiction, we, too often say “I’ll deal with that tomorrow”! Then tomorrow never comes and brokenness prevails. Worse than that many feel the tug of God on their heart calling them to repent of a lifestyle they know they shouldn’t be living and yet they say, “maybe tomorrow”. What if tomorrow never comes?
We make excuses and our procrastination gets stronger and stronger. In the end, the mess we have to clean up is much worse than if we would have dealt with the problem earlier or may even become unsolvable. After the frogs died in Egypt the land was full of stench. The thing they adored and worshipped became wretched and repulsive. The same can happen to us. Let’s not spend another night with the frogs.