Sometimes boiling frogs are a good thing
Most of us are familiar with the modern, secular parable of the frog in boiling water. The story goes that if you put a frog in lukewarm water and slowly heat it up on a stove, the frog will never notice the temperature change or the pending danger, so he will unwittingly allow himself to cook to death.
Wikipedia calls it a “metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that arise gradually.”
I’ve never heard it used, though, in a context of positive change. Recently, while I was splashing my way through a one-hour workout in the YMCA pool, I was pondering last summer’s trip to Hawaii. While we were there our daughter, Julie, treated me to a 5-plus hour sailing trip. The trip included some snorkel time. After swimming with fish and taking in the beauty of Kauai, we were heading back to port. The catamaran was spanking the water as it crested and dug through the choppy waters. Sitting on the bow, I was getting drenched with each slap between the water and the keel. My torso swayed from left to right in a rhythmic cadence that could have lulled me to sleep, if not for the captivating beauty of the sea and towering bluffs.
It didn’t take long before I realized it wasn’t just salt water running down my checks. Some of the liquid was tears.
It was just over two years ago that back pain had debilitated me. There was a 10-day stretch where I couldn’t even lie down. Eugene was driving me back and forth to the ER, doctors’ appointments and physical therapy. I was on enough painkillers that I shouldn’t have remembered any of it. But slowly— thanks to a faithful community of praying people, an amazing spinal rehabilitation program (thank you SpineZone), a mother and sister who have invested in ongoing PT treatments and a YMCA membership, plus my own commitment to push toward that prize—I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.
So, sitting on the catamaran’s bow, I was suddenly overwhelmed as I realized my pot of frogs had boiled over into something to be celebrated. Waves of gratefulness washed over me. My arsenal of “I can’ts” have slowly become “I cans.” It’s become a testimony that I’ve been able to share with others who have noticed the changes in me physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Isn’t that just like the Lord?
He routinely asks us to step out in faith—many times without a nautical chart. While the process may sometimes be routine, the end results rarely are! What little step is the Lord asking of you? What big step is the Lord asking of you, and how can you begin it with a small step? Have courage, step out and then be ready to celebrate with your community!
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:14, ESV