We are all familiar with the fable of the frog in the pot of water. For the 10% of you that aren’t familiar with the story, essentially it says that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump out, but if you put a frog into a pot of tepid water and gradually increase the temperature it will stay in that pot until it gets cooked.
Often times a foray into Christianity can feel a lot like that pot. When you think about exploring the idea of believing in God or joining a church or becoming a Christian it can be overwhelming. Many people find themselves, like the frog, throwing into a boiling pot of expectations (both from themselves and from other people).
But what if your faith journey could be more like the experience of the frog in tepid water? The only difference being that instead of being boiled alive at the end, you find yourself completely submerged in the love of God and his son, Jesus Christ.
That is what my faith journey has been. A gradual immersion. And I really do mean it when I say I have been God’s frog. I have always believed in God and accepted Jesus as my saviour. But I wanted that faith to be comfortable, so I kept everything very clinical and at an arms length. I prayed and went to church occasionally, but I wasn’t ready or willing to compromise my very busy life more than that.
The fantastic and amazing thing about God is that he is patient. I mean really, he literally has all the time in the world. He will wait for you, just as he waited for me. And when I was ready, he started showing me his purpose for my life slowly. It started with C.S. Lewis, whose works helped me to deepen my understanding of God’s love and his purpose in a manner that was much more accessible for me than reading the bible (something that I had tried and failed at over and over again). Then, when I turned from reading Lewis to the Bible, God humanized the people of the Gospels for me through the Netflix show A.D. Kingdom and Empire. It was this show in particular that helped me to hear the very human voices of the people about whom and by whom the Gospels are written, especially in the letters of Paul.
By now David and I had started attending church on a regular basis and one Sunday in June I looked at my sweet Isaac as he came up from Sunday school hanging his head and looking miserable for what seemed like the umpteenth time. I turned to Dave and as I started complaining about the Sunday school I heard a voice in my head, so loud and clear as to be sitting right beside me, say “Then, why don’t you do something about it?” That fall I took on Isaac’s class. On a good day there are three wild and crazy boys in my room, who want to talk at the top of their voices and can’t sit still. But I love all of them and thanks to Isaac, I know that listening and learning doesn’t always mean you are sitting quietly with your hands in your lap. Sometimes it means you are building a basket tower or making a marker sword.
The point I am trying to make here is that God turned up the temperature on me the day I decided to be a part of the Sunday school program in our church. And over the past year, he has gradually increased the temperature or what he is calling me to do, over and over again. But each and every time I raise my eyes to the heavens and I say “Lord, if this is what you want me to do, then I know that you will help me find the way…the time…the will.” And he absolutely has. There is so much truth in Ephesians 3:20 “Now to the one who can do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among us— ”
Without God’s help I know that I absolutely would not be able to do everything he has called me to do with my life. But I am willing to be his frog, to have faith and let him turn up the temperature on his expectations for me in his time and in his way. And far from boiling to death, I find myself happier and more content, filled with the joy of knowing God and living out his purpose for my life.
Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” How fully and completely has God shown me the truth of this over the last year. So I invite you to jump into the pot with me. Trust that God has a plan for your life and, if you are willing to surrender yourself, to be the frog, he will make them known.