I was a frog. I say that based on the following illustration provided by Bruce Larson in Ask Me to Dance.

“You ever feel like a frog? Frogs feel slow, low, ugly, puffy, drooped, pooped. I know. One told me. The frog feeling comes when you want to be bright but feel dumb, when you want to share but are selfish, when you want to be thankful but feel resentment, when you want to be great but are small, when you want to care but are indifferent. Yes, at one time or another each of us has found himself on a lily pad, floating down the great river of life. Frightened and disgusted, we’re too froggish to budge.”

This passage reminds me of Romans 7. I think Paul was talking about the same frog-life.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am!  (Romans 7:21-24)

You may be familiar with the frog’s life cycle: egg, embryo, tadpole, frog. I was a frog. I’ve learned, however, that there’s another stage traditionally reserved for fairy tales: prince. There is no benevolent princess to bestow the unexpected kiss in this story though.

Paul follows his frustrated admission with a question. He then provides the unbelievable answer.

Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 7:25-8:2)

I was transformed from frog to prince, not because I tried harder, but because I was forgiven. I was freed from my bumpy, ugly, miserable skin when I finally admitted that I could not change myself. In my desperate I can’t-take-this-anymore submission, I was given a robe, a ring, new sandals, and a feast (Luke 15:22-24). I was released from condemnation and made holy in Jesus’ image.

Don’t settle for a frog-life. No matter what you’ve done, no matter who you’ve been, you are already loved. Leave the lily pad; take one small hop from death to life. Accept Jesus! Your prince-life awaits. Love you!


About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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