Did Your Frog Jump Too High?
Many years ago, when I was in kindergarten the unthinkable happened. This traumatic event left me in tears for days and I could barely sleep. I lost my favorite stuffed animal, Froggie, for a weekend. We were best buddies. We played together, laughed together, and we battled monsters together at bedtime. I blamed my teacher, Mrs. Wilson, for this devastating event, but looking back it was really all my own fault.
All the students were given the task to bring in something meaningful to share with the entire class for show and tell. The logical choice for me was Froggie. As we headed to school that day, Froggie and I were filled with excitement. Smiling from ear-to-ear, I did my best to explain to everyone just how awesome my bond was with Froggie. My turn was over and I headed back to my seat, but I guess Froggie wasn’t done being the center of attention.
As the day went on, Froggie started getting bored and he began to jump really high trying to touch the 12 foot ceilings. He whispered in my ear, “Aron, help me jump higher.” I knew better than to help, but he was my best bud and extremely persuasive. On one such jumping attempt, Mrs. Wilson caught him in mid-flight, “Aron, don’t throw your frog in the air or I’m going to take him away.” I don’t know what came over Froggie. He kept asking if I was going to listen to that mean teacher or all the kids who think it’s cool to watch me jump really high? “Come on, Aron, help me again. We were so close to touching the ceiling.”
Froggie did have a point. I couldn’t let all the other kids down and ruin the highest recorded jump made by any stuffed animal. The only barrier to setting the record was a huge antique bowl-shaped light fixture that Froggie had been dangerously close to on each jump.
When Mrs. Wilson turned her back, I helped Froggie jump even higher. Froggie brushed his side on the light fixture on his way down and with eyes in the back of her head, Mrs. Wilson saw it. “Aron, last warning, if you do that again I’m going to take him away. If your frog gets stuck on the light, we are not going to get him down until Monday because the janitor has already left for the weekend.”
I had never seen Froggie so persistent. He looked at me with those big bulging marble eyes and said with authority, “Throw me higher!” So, when Mrs. Wilson wasn’t looking, Froggie took the biggest jump of his life. All of the other kids and myself watched in amazement as Froggie jumped higher than any other frog or object previously in history. I was so proud of him and the look on his face as he reached the top was saying, “We did it, Aron.” However, Froggie didn’t come down for his victory lap and accolades from my fellow classmates. He got stuck on the light fixture on the way down. The loud sigh from the class caused Mrs. Wilson to turn around and join the entire class looking up to see Froggie looking down through the glass lens. He had a “Help me, buddy” look on his face.
To this day, I still remember that grin of pleasure Mrs. Wilson had on her face as my heart was breaking. “Sorry, Aron, he is stuck up there all weekend,” said Mrs. Wilson. Seriously? “But, Mrs. Wilson, you don’t understand what Froggie means to me. How will I sleep? Who is going to play with me? How can I go the entire weekend without him?”
As the final bell rang, the reality of the situation set in; I wasn’t getting Froggie back until Monday. I left the school with tears in my eyes. My dad met me in the parking lot and asked me what was wrong. Through teary eyes and a quivering voice, I told him what happened and that the mean Mrs. Wilson said it was stuck on the light fixture for the entire weekend. With no sympathy from my father he said, “What happened, did your frog jump too high?” and he proceeded to laugh as we walked to the car. In reality, I had no one to blame but myself and I would have been able to sleep with Froggie safe in my arms that night if I had just listened to Mrs. Wilson.
Have you ever done anything that someone told you not to do, but you did it anyway; only to experience the cold slap of reality right across the face when things went wrong? If you take this a step further, has God ever told you to not do something and yet you went ahead and did just that? There is a good reason why God tells you not to do certain things; it’s to protect you from harm. In the midst of the experience, it’s hard to see the potential problems or the bigger picture.
When God tells you not to do something, it is because He sees the bigger picture. God knows that decision isn’t going to produce fruit or will actually destroy you if you proceed. Think back over your life to those moments of big decisions that went wrong; there was a voice speaking against them. That man you thought was the perfect husband was not. That job you thought would financially support your family ended up destroying your family. The advice you took from someone whose best interest was for themselves, left you bankrupt in more ways than you can count.
You may be saying that the voice was never there. There was no warning for those things that happened to you. Let me tell you, the voice was there, but you were not receptive to hearing it. You were not listening. Mrs. Wilson told me not to toss Froggie, but I didn’t want to hear it. She’s not God, but she could see what was going to happen if I continued to not listen. I most certainly heard Mrs. Wilson, but I was making a conscious choice to not listen. The attention I was getting from my classmates was worth more than the consequences in that moment. That moment in time made my weekend miserable; for little Aron cried himself to sleep missing Froggie.
Now, this isn’t the time to get mad at God for something you were told not to do, but did it anyway; there are consequences to all actions. I really had no reason to be mad at Mrs. Wilson because she told me not to do it and even warned me of the consequences. Likewise, why should you get mad at God? God isn’t sitting around taking joy in your misery. Instead of getting angry, try sharpening your hearing to heed future warnings so the misery will not have to continue. God is trying to protect you from things that are certain to destroy you if you head in the wrong direction.
Don’t get discouraged if you consistently find yourself flat on your face from decisions you’ve made; you will have an opportunity to make things right the next time. To make sure you have a better chance of success, there are a couple of things you can do. Next time, when you need to make an important decision, pause in the midst of the situation to try and gain a better perspective of possible outcomes. When you pause, it gives you a better chance to hear the Spirit giving you direction. Learning to hear His voice is vital, especially when the enemy likes to speak his mind as well. Trust me, this will take some practice because you are used to hearing all the other competing voices. Setting some time aside and getting yourself in a quiet place to hear God is the best way to prepare for receiving the Spirit. God is the God of clarity. He always has your best interests in mind so just stop fighting it. Pause, listen, and follow His directions; or you could end up like little Aron, going to sleep without his Froggie.
The enemy’s plan
The enemy wants you to be impulsive with your decisions; never taking the time to fully think about what you are doing, but instead being controlled by your emotions and seeking instant gratification. The enemy is all about chaos, smoke and mirrors, impatience, and immediate action. The enemy’s goal is to leave you unsure of what is actually happening and fearful to stop and try to figure it out. If, however, you decide to make better choices, the enemy will do anything to keep you from hearing the Spirit’s voice for direction. He will try to convince you that God’s way is wrong and a punishment for your behaviors. When you hear from God and start to move in Faith, the enemy will remind you of all the possible things that could go wrong; making you doubt God, and encouraging you to rethink your decision. When you actually move in Faith and come out victorious, the enemy will say you got lucky and it was a fluke.
The Victory Prayer
Heavenly Father, there is nothing beyond your ability to comprehend and help, for You are greater than anything we have faced, are facing, and will face. We need You to bring us calm in the midst of chaos; speaking truth in our ear in a room full of lies. Give us wisdom to be still and wait for You prior to making a significant decision in our lives. We want to submit any and all things to You for clarity and direction. Give us encouragement to try again despite the thousands of failed attempts on our own. With You at our side, we can be confident that no matter what we face You are there for us; never leaving us nor forsaking us. We thank You for hearing and bringing these prayers to life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen!
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