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Frogs and Gifts!
Photo: Dmitry Mizintsev
Last evening it happened! The frogs by our pond began singing. And they were in excellent voice, I must say! The tenors were whirring the top line, the bull frogs were beating out the bass, and the rest were carrying a steady, delightful melody. The title of their spirited performance was clearly, “Spring!”

I recognized the song as the same familiar chorus that falls on my ears each year, and wasted no time sharing the discovery with my husband. “Mark, the frogs are singing!” I exclaimed as I stepped onto the deck to listen intently in the darkness. “Kids!” I wrote in an email to our grown children, “The frogs are singing!” Each of us respond with the same joy each year, remembering the delight of this annual family moment that marks the emergence of spring.

The predictability of this yearly event is certain. But something else is just as predictable. Each time I take a walk and hear the frogs singing, I'm drawn to the edge of the pond. And each time I approach, the chorus immediately ceases. This always amazes me, even though it happens every time. And the reason for it is obvious. The frogs stop singing because they sense a presence and become fearful of being discovered.

Inspiring Close-up

I guess that's normal for frogs, but it's still such a shame because their song would be even more inspiring close-up! The notes would be more distinct, the volume would be higher, and the overall unity of the chorus would be more embraceable. But, again, that is the way of frogs.

What about people? Do you know people who have unique and wonderful gifts, but only use them in their own “pond?” The privileged few who happen to hang out at the pond of these people, have the privilege of benefiting from their gifts, but beyond that, these people (and their gifts) are pretty much unknown. And just like with the frogs, it's a shame because if they would expand their ground, so many other people would be inspired! They would connect more personally to others as witnesses of God's love. They could enjoy working in unity with other people in sharing their gifts.

Why are we often fearful of singing God's praises openly? It might be that someone has hurt or offended us and we are protecting ourselves from a repeat performance of that pain. Or it might be that they just don't feel they have anything to offer. Whatever the reason, most likely it has been whispered in our ear from God's enemy, who wants more than anything for us to keep silent. His motto is If you can't say anything bad about God, don't say anything at all. We need to realize the secret that Satan realizes: that God inhabits praise and the more we praise God, the more God will be in us. And the more God is in us, the more natural it will be to openly share our gifts with others and to do it fearlessly.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to one for the profit of all” ( I Corinthians 12:7).

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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