I’m not a science person.
In fact many nights were spent on the couch of our family’s living room with me in tears over an open Biology book. This lasted from about 6th grade until, by God’s amazing grace, I graduated college. My dad is a physician who graduated with honors (what a show off). He was instructed by my poor mother to “get Meagan through this class so we can all stop paying for it.” I know my dad probably wanted to drive bamboo shoots up his fingernails out of frustration, but he just kept plugging away, trying to reteach me about plants and vascular systems and cell parts and all of those other plant words I’ve since forgotten.
But I was reading a book the other night and the author wrote about a vivid memory of a science experiment in class. I probably blocked those memories and likely didn’t make it to whatever level of science this brilliant young author was referencing. There was a frog, a pot of water and a hot plate. It sounds like a joke but I promise it isn’t.
At the start of the experiment the instructor first boiled the pot of water on the hot plate and then dropped the frog in. Frogger immediately jumped out, fearing for his precious life. Next the instructor sat the frog in the cool pot of water and slowly turned up the temperature on the hot plate until eventually the water began to boil. And little Frogger just rested there until he accidentally sacrificed his life for science.
When I read this in the book, I just stared at it. I suddenly had a flashback of all the unhealthy seasons of my life. I was just sitting there – letting the water get hotter and hotter and it was killing me! When the situation was clear – like dropping the frog in the water already boiling, of course I jumped out! But those times it snuck up on me, I lost so many days because I believed I was safe and living a good, full life.
I just finished leading a small group for some of the women in our church this semester and one of the biggest things that keeps coming up is the reality that devil is scheming against us. We talk about it every single week no matter how the curriculum guides us. Our people, and believers everywhere really, just need to hear that in this season. The devil is scheming against any effective ministry tool. If you are reaching people at work, the devil is scheming against you. If your church is reaching lost people and moving believers closer to God, the devil is after your church. If your family honors God and upholds his values, the devil is scheming to divide you.
“Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
Satan wants so badly to get us to do anything but focus on loving God, loving people and serving the world. But he isn’t a dummy. He just keeps slowly turning that temperature up on the hot plate until one day we find ourselves in crisis. We think, “This is NOT the life I wanted!!” And then we begin the journey back to a healthy life with God.
While God always welcomes us home, wouldn’t it be better, safer, cheaper, easier and less exhausting to just find a way to notice as the temperature changes in the water where we are?
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
2 Timothy 3:7 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
So you see, we have God’s best resources at our fingertips. He offers us his own wisdom (James 1:5), his living Word the Bible (2 Tim 3:6), and his faithful people (Prov 12:15). When we stay in close community with God and with his people, and we continually read the Word, God will help us feel those dangerous changes to our little environment. He will help guard our lives against the attacks of the enemy. And we can live happier, healthier, fuller lives just like he intended!