Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Frog Surprise and Having an Egyptian Heart





Sam and I were sitting at the kitchen table, eating dinner. I wanted Sam to eat the last of the squash, but he thought I should have it. When I pushed back my chair to get it from the counter, something about the dogs' water bowl caught my eye. 

The water wasn't just low. The bowl wasn't just dirty. There was something alive in the bowl!

I shrieked and jumped up so fast, I had to grab my chair to keep it from falling over.  

Sam nearly dropped his spoon. "What's wrong with you?" 

"What is in that water bowl?"

"What are you talking about?" Sam laughed. He'd seen me shriek and jump before. "You got a snake over there?"

"No, I don't have a snake. I think it's a frog." I grabbed my long purple rubber gloves, garbed up, and went to investigate. There was, indeed, a big frog in the water bowl. I grabbed the frog and tossed it out the back door. It might not have been with all the gentleness of Jesus, but (in my defense) I was terribly excited.

After I scrubbed and sanitized the water bowl and scrubbed and sanitized my gloves and hands, I sat back down. Sam was still laughing about the possibility of a snake in the house. 

"I'm not worried about snakes, Sam. Tell me how that frog got in my house."

"Well, it went like this. That frog smashed its body down real small, till it was nearly flat, then it scooted under your door and climbed inside."

"Sam, you don't believe that, do you?"

"Yeah, I do. But I'm wondering how did that frog know where the water bowl was?"

Then, it hit me. Mamie did it. She loves to put things in the water bowl. Sometimes she'll move the food from the food bowl into the water bowl and stop it up. 

It's a short leap to assume that Mamie, who loves to chase frogs, had actually caught one, brought it inside, and put it in her favorite storage spot.

I leaned back in my chair, my heart still pounding. "I feel like an Egyptian."

"How's that?"

"You know, Sam, the Egyptians had all those plagues."

"We could ask the Egyptians how the frogs got inside."

Our conversation wandered all over the Egyptians and the frogs and the snakes, but I couldn't get the idea of feeling like an Egyptian out of my mind. I started wondering...

Those Egyptian ladies were just doing whatever Egyptian ladies did when God began to release the Hebrews. The business with Moses and the Pharaoh probably seemed like nothing more than a little political unrest.

Until the water turned to blood. 

That would've been enough for me. I'd have marched in the street to get rid of the Hebrews, but the Egyptian ladies must've been made of sterner stuff. 

Then, the frogs came. 

"The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frog shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants." Exodus 8:3-4 esv

If I had to deal with that many frogs, I don't know what I'd have done, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been sit idly by while frogs jumped over me.

It surprises me that the Egyptian women didn't create an uproar, especially when one plague followed another. I couldn't figure it out, until I remembered that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, and that's why he waited so long to let them go.

I don't know if God hardened the hearts of the Egyptians or if they were already hard when Moses got there, but there's one thing I do know. I don't want the heart of an Egyptian. 

I don't want the kind of heart that is so defiant in the face of plagues that I lose my precious first-born because of it.

I don't want a heart so hard that I shake my fist in the face of God and say, "Bring it on," as he rains down blood and frogs and hail and even worse.

I want a tender, gentle heart that loves and obeys and submits to whatever God wants.

Isn't that the kind of heart you want, too?

There's good news. We don't need frogs in the bread bowl to change us. Today, let's ask God to show us our hearts the way He sees them, even if what He sees is an "Egyptian heart". Let's choose a tender, clean heart, and make whatever changes are required to have the heart God desires.   

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10 esv
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Granola That Changed My Day 

Here's the link to the updated prayer list: Prayer List
#cleanheart #frogs #plagues #disciple