You just never know what adventures await you. Last week, it was cool outside. I decided to go outside and trim some of the shrubs. I was getting hot and tired. I thought to myself, "If I ever get rid of this house, I will move into one with a backyard the size of a bathtub!"
I was about to wrap things up for the night. I noticed that the Confederate Jasmine was growing wildly out of control on the pergola, and it needed to be tamed. I reached up with the clippers. I looked up and began lopping off the unruly shoots. The next thing I know, a frog lands right on my lips. He quickly fell to the ground and hopped away to another hiding place.
I was so offended! I mean, all my life I have heard fairy tales about the Princess and the frog. She kisses the frog and he turns into her prince. Well, first of all, I did not get a prince. Secondly, I was left with nasty, slimy lips.
When we are young, we all think life is going to be a fairy tale. Unfortunately, it does not always work out that way. Often, the frog is just a frog, and we are just left with a bitter taste on our lips feeling violated by life. Many times, I am tempted to wallow in self pity about the tragic ending to my fairy tale. Then I stop and think about others in my life.
My very best friend from childhood lost her husband to colon cancer. She was left with three beautiful young children to raise alone.
I watched a wonderful loving couple lose their precious, vivacious little boy to a heart condition. They only had three short years with him.
We had some very dear friends who were members of our church. The father was picking up his teenage son from the movies just two days before Christmas. He had a massive heart attack and died that night. He was buried the day after Christmas.
The stories go on and on. We all have experienced tragedies ourselves or with others. Life usually does not turn out to be the fairy tale for which we hope. So what will we do? Will we become angry and bitter, or will we put our faith and hope in God? I believe with all my heart that He can take our tragedies and redeem them. He can turn them into the fairy tale that He longs for us to have with Him.
I love the Message Paraphrase of James 1:12:
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
Well, after I realized that I had kissed a frog, I came inside and washed my mouth out for about five minutes. The girls and I got a really good laugh from it. I posted on Facebook, "Tonight, I kissed a frog. Regrettably, he did not turn into my prince." Many people thought that I had been on a date, and it was a metaphor. That made us laugh even more. I am doing well, but I'm not quite ready for that! This is the point: we laughed. Life may not be the fairy tale we hoped for, but we are still going to laugh! We know that deep inside, God has great things in store for us. The ride may be rough, but there are some good sights along the way. We are going to take time to stop and enjoy every one of them, even the slimy little tree frogs!I am so thankful to my good friend for introducing me to John Claypool. His books have been so encouraging and helpful in dealing with tragedy and loss.