A little friend has been hanging out at our house recently. It is a little frog who we usually see in the evening (around dusk) at various places on our front porch. He loves to hang out on the hood of our porch light. When it is turned on at night it draws all sorts of insects and bugs and I guess he sort of thinks of it has his "evening buffet." But several days ago we began missing him. We looked for him but he was no where to be found. We thought perhaps he had moved on. But, the other day my wife got her water bucket and filled it so she could water the porch flowers. As she tried to begin watering, for some reason the water wouldn't come out; something was blocking the flow. After emptying the bucket of water and examining the spout, to her surprise, she found "froggy." He was stuck in the spout; so she quickly rescued him. He was still alive and seemed to be doing ok. But apparently he had gotten into the bucket and couldn't get out. Had he stayed there he would have surly died. When she got him out she placed him on the handle of the bucket, and with no apparent fear, he sat there as she took his picture. It also most seemed as if he was saying, "Thank you. I was in an awful spot. Thank you for rescuing me!"...
As I thought about it I realized that there are times we are very much like that little frog. We find ourselves (as a result of bad choices, curiosity that overcame us, impulsive urges, etc.) in situations of our own making that we simply cannot get out of on our own strength. We need someone bigger and more powerful than ourselves to lift us out of our desperate situation.
Psalm 40 is a wonderful psalm. Verses 1-3 read, "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him."
There are so many lessons that can be gleamed from these three short verses. But the lessons that stand out to me can be summarized as:
1. In times of trouble we need to wait upon the Lord and cry out to Him. (vs. 1)
2. God can deliver us from the terrible pit's we find ourself in, (vs. 2)
3. God not only lifts us out of the pit, He sets us upon firm and stable ground, (vs. 2)
4. The attitude of our heart, in light of God's great deliverance, should be that of praise, (vs. 3)
5. Our experience of being rescued by God will be one that others will see and cause them to trust in Him, (vs. 3)
Though there are times when we are indeed helpless; but God can rescue us. His grace is often found when we simply begin to call upon Him.
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.