The Cuban Tree Frog
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18 ESV
The world is a dangerous place. Only those sheltered by the naivety of childhood are immune to the hazards of everyday living. People can be treacherous, not only to our emotional health but our physical well-being as well. This possibility of harm is especially true of those who have chosen to follow Jesus. Reading Foxes Book of Martyrs is enough to see that the world carries a deep-seeded hatred for the followers of the lonely Carpenter of Nazareth. Their evil desire to silence Him led them to His crucifixion.
Thankfully, their wicked plan only lasted three days. He arose victorious over death and the grave. Nothing has changed in the last 2000 years. In the words of Oswald Chambers, “we live in the age of the humiliation of the saints.” Paul said we are, “counted as sheep for the slaughter.” Romans 8::36b
Down through the centuries men and women have chosen suffering and death rather than renounce the name of Jesus Christ. It is no different in our age. Mankind has not evolved into a kinder, more tolerate society. Their disdain for God and His followers has remained strong, but so has His power and ultimate victory in us.
Behold, the dastardly Cuban tree frog. This slimy amphibious creature appears quite beautiful but is to be avoided at all costs. Its oily skin is an irritant to both man and pet alike. The most devious part of the Cuban tree frog is that it is almost identical to our beloved Florida tree frog. The only way you can tell it apart is that its Cuban cousin has slightly larger feet. I recently spotted one. I capture the creature, took it outside, and stomped on it believing I had done the world some good. There it lay flat as roadkill with its body fluid surrounding it. I was about to cast it into the bushes when surprisingly it revived. To my astonishment it rehydrated, and before I could step on it again, it escaped into a nearby gutter.
Behold, the unconquerable Christian. We look like them, but our feet are bigger because they are blessed with the Gospel. The message we share is an irritant. Let the world stomp on us, and we rehydrate with the life of Jesus. Let them take away our riches and they will find that our true riches are in heaven. Let them slander us, and they will discover that Christ speaks well of us. Let them kill us, and we will instantly walk on streets of gold.
In the Great Tribulation, the Beast will be permitted to conquer the saints, leading to wholesale martyrdom such as the world has never seen. This world believes they can silence the Christian faith by simply stepping on us. They rejoice in our squashed bodies on the pavement. In response we simply raise our hands to Jesus Christ in praise. The German author, Jean Paul Richter, best known for his humorous novels and stories, wrote this, “Courage consists not in blindly overlooking danger, but in seeing it, and conquering it.” In Christ, we are more than conquerors no matter what this world does to us.