I had just finished cleaning my garden shed and moved to the herb garden. All those empty cardboard boxes were going into the herb garden as part of yet another weed control program. (Cover the ground with cardboard, cut out around the plants, cover over with pine straw. It's going to work great! I hope.)
As I secured the cardboard and scattered pine straw, a tiny frog jumped on my hand. (Well, it could've been a toad. I didn't look very close) I shook it off and continued working. Pretty soon, I realized there was a multitude of frogs in that garden, and they were hopping on me!
Of course, I started grumbling about the frogs and thinking about Moses and Pharaoh. Mid-grumble, I sensed that still, small voice in my heart. "What do frogs eat?" I had an epiphany, right there between the rosemary and the basil. They eat bugs. Flies, gnats, mosquitoes. Frogs are great for gardens.
That started me thinking about the plagues and their order. First, the Nile turned to blood, then the frogs came. It was only after the frogs were in place that the gnats came. No one realized it at the time, but the frogs were a living demonstration of judgement tempered with mercy and grace. Gnats are a yummy meal for frogs. By sending those frogs at the beginning, God had given a way out of the plague to come. Isn't that amazing? The frogs those Egyptians probably hated were actually a blessing in disguise!
There's no doubt that those bug-eating frogs in my garden are a blessing, and I have the healthy herbs to prove it. How many times does God allow something hard into our lives that seems bad at the time, but ends up being a blessing because it prepares us for something yet to come? I can think of several instances in my own life, and you probably can too.
This afternoon, I'm thanking God for the frogs - in my herb garden and in my life, and praying you will do the same.