Pastor Mike’s Musing…

Pastor Mike’s Musing…

 A group of frogs was together out in the woods when two of them fell into a deep pit.  All the other frogs gathered around the pit.  When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out.  The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit.  The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead.  Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up.  He fell down and died.  The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could.  Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and suffering and just die.  He jumped even harder and finally made it out.  When he got out, the other frogs asked him, “Why did you continue jumping?  Didn’t you hear us?”  The frog explained to them that he was deaf.  He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story hit me because of the number of times I have been the pessimist in the crowd doubting whether something could be accomplished, especially against all odds.  I am usually pretty optimistic but I’ve had my moments when I’ve been one of the frogs yelling words of discouragement down to someone in the pit.  (Usually I explain my behavior as “realism” not “pessimism.”)  Then, God surprises me with results that defy logic and punch a hole in my overinflated belief that something won’t work.  Fortunately, I am the first one to admit that my foreboding attitude was not helpful in the situation.  (I thought it was funny how the rest of the frogs didn’t really celebrate the frog’s escape; they actually questioned him as to why he didn’t listen to their bleak forecast.)

This story is a great reminder to all of us about how important encouragement is to others and to ourselves.  Actually, I think that’s what the first Thanksgiving was all about.  The colonists had endured great suffering seeking freedom in the new land.  That feast was their expression of encouragement to each other that “all things are possible.”

At some point in life we all find ourselves in a deep pit with what seems to be little hope of escape.  As we mount an attempt to overcome our gloom and free ourselves, we often run into a crowd who manage to suck the life out of our task by their discouraging words and unhelpful assistance.  What we really need at that moment is an army of frogs that will cheer us on in our effort to get out of the pit.  What we also need at that moment is a faith that draws its strength from God’s presence and a hope that God will deliver us from our dark situation.

Let’s make it a point this Thanksgiving to encourage someone and tell them how thankful we are for who they are and what they mean to us.  Let’s offer encouragement to those who are enduring great hardship and even find themselves in, what seems to be, a deep pit.  In fact, let’s not wait until Thanksgiving; let’s make this a practice in our lives at all times.