We have two large planters outside the front door here at work. I keep the plants watered. It has been fun this summer because a frog, or two, has taken up residence in those pots. Each time I water, it will jump out of the pot until I am finished. Several times this summer I have found the little guy inside. Usually, he will be hanging out in the foyer, right inside the door. I have picked him up and put him outside several times this year.
A coworker and I discussed the fact that if he gets stuck inside over the weekend, he will more than likely become dehydrated. It would not end well for the little guy.
I told the little frog one day, “You remind me of me when I was younger. I keep putting you back in your safe place, and yet you insist on entering dangerous territory.”
Perhaps he thinks we have it better beyond the big, brown metal door. Maybe he thinks I am holding something back from him and he must see for himself. Maybe a fellow frog-friend convinces him to go places he knows he should not. At any rate he made the wrong decision one-too-many times and I found him dead by my trash can this morning. It made me sad but it also reminded me of the foolish things we do as humans, seeking something better.
There is a short verse in Proverbs that paints a large picture. It has less than 20 words and yet, says so much!
“Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.” Proverbs 17:12 ESV
Have you seen a mama bear, robbed of her cubs? Here is one such example from A Mother’s Revenge:
“In 1907, in the virgin forest of northwest Montana, a mother bear and her cub were preparing for winter. Unbeknownst to them, a small government survey team, accompanied by some adventurous tourists, was packing into this uninhabited region. The area was a section of high and rugged mountain peaks, snowfields, and living glaciers, wholly uninhabited except by the wild animals and well-nigh inaccessible save in the dead of winter. Soon after the party arrived, bad weather set in, making survey work impossible. The inactivity soon prompted the suggestion of a hunt, but only two hardy souls were interested. These two men, both experienced hunters, set out from camp with their horses and guns, little dreaming of the adventure that awaited them.
The men traveled some distance by horseback to a glacier, where they left their horses at the head of the basis. At this point, they separated, Mr. Stiles going one direction and Dr. Penrose another. Mr. Stiles soon spotted a buck dear and began stalking it when he heard three shots in rapid succession. Paying no special attention to the reports which came from the other side of the ridge, he was about to shoot the deer when he heard two more shots, rapidly followed by a third. Immediately becoming alarmed, he ran back in the direction of the shots. Within a few minutes he came around a mass of broken boulders and saw Dr. Penrose wandering aimlessly around in the canyon bed without his gun. His hat was gone, his coat torn off, and his trousers rent. Blood poured from his head and neck, and he gripped his left arm in his crimson right hand, presenting a horrible sight. As Mr. Stiles approached him, he murmured piteously, “Water, water.” As he tried to drink the water, part of it ran out through a gash in his cheek. He then said: “Stiles, I am all in; I have had a fight with a bear.”
As the story unfolded, it revealed that Dr. Penrose had come upon a young grizzly cub. Being late in the year, the cub was large enough that it appeared full-grown, to all but the careful observer. Dr. Penrose’s first three shots had killed the cub; and in his excitement, he failed to note that it was a cub that he had killed. Having laid his gun aside, he was bending over the young bear that he had so recently killed when suddenly, not more than sixty feet behind him, the doctor heard a cry of anger as the grief-stricken and enraged mother bear rushed forward to avenge the death of her offspring.
Turning, with almost superhuman presence of mind, Dr. Penrose caught up his rifle again and fired two shots into the enraged beast. Rapidly removing his last cartridge from his pocket, he worked it into the rifle and sent a third steel-jacketed bullet into the on-rushing bear. Swift and sure as were the little bullets, the bear continued her charge, her fury unchecked. With one stroke of her paw she sent him into the gulch, eight feet below. Springing down after him, she caught him in her mouth and shook him as a cat might shake a mouse, before dropping him. Again she caught him up, this time by his face, narrowly missing his eyes but tearing his cheek and throat wide open. There were five gaping wounds in his chest. His thigh was torn, the flesh handing in ragged pieces, and his left wrist was twisted and broken. Before she could again shake her half-dead victim, the mother bear staggered, and falling dead at his feet. In spite of the terrible beating that he had taken, Dr. Penrose did survive, though he spent several months recuperating from the attack.” (Source: stepstolife.org)
This is just one story. One of hundreds, if not thousands, of stories of what happens when mama bear feels threatened.
“I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage…” Hosea 13:8 NKJV
With that imagery in mind, now compare it to a fool and his folly.
King Solomon wrote, “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Proverbs 26:11 NKJV
What we need is a big dose of wisdom. And wisdom is a lot easier to obtain than you might realize.
James tells us if we lack wisdom, ask God for wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5 ESV
Reproach is to express disappointment in or displeasure with a person for conduct that is blameworthy.
Jesus does just the opposite of that. He gives “generously” and He gives to anyone who asks.
Don’t be like that little frog. Don’t worry about what is behind the door.
There is another saying that goes something like, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always be where you have always been.”
Ask God for wisdom to break old habits and cycles. Ask God, who gives generously. Ask Him for the water of life. Drink deeply; stay hydrated and keep your eyes on Jesus.
by Jeanette Stark – Monday, October 3, 2022