At the place where I work we have a trencher and we get jobs were we'll dig a long trench, put pipe in the trench, and then fill the trench back in.
There was one job were it rained on us before we could get the trench back filled in, and so the trench filled up with water. So, by the time it dried enough to put the pipes in and back fill there were all sorts of frogs and toads in the trench. Frogs are sleek and fast! It's amazing how much ground one can cover in just one leap. Toads on the other hand are anything but sleek. They make hopping look like a chore!
Well, we finally got to back filling in the trench. Then with about four hundred feet of trench left I saw a frog in the trench that with each hop would distance itself from the wall of dirt falling into the trench behind it. I thought, "This frog should easily be able to make it to the end of the trench." For I knew they we were not going to fill the last ten feet of the trench because we needed to finish the pipe at the end. But after only five or six hops the frog gave up hope, quit jumping, and tried to hide from sure death by hiding under the pipe, and that frog is still there, under three feet of dirt! I thought, "The stupid frog, it could have hopped the four hundred feet, made it to the end and still be alive!"
Then, with about three hundred feet of trench left to fill I came across this toad hopping for all it was worth to just barely stay ahead of the wall of dirt pouring in behind it...like a wall of death nipping at it's heels! I thought the poor toad probably won't make it a hundred feet till it gets tired and gets covered up. As I watched, much to my amazement the toad never quit hopping, but some how managed to stay one hop ahead of the wall of dirt pouring in over it. The longer the toad kept going the more obvious it became that the toad was getting tired! Its jumps became less coordinated, and it covered less ground with each hop. A couple times it hesitated for just a moment like it was going to give up! After all, it saw no end in sight, and it had no idea that we were not going to fill the last ten feet. For all it knew it could make it to the end, end up trapped, and still get covered! But then just in time it would take off hopping. It seemed the more visibly tired the toad got, the more determined it would press on as if to say, " I have put forth lots of effort, and I'm going to do everything I can so it's not going to be in vain, and every hop is another effort that makes me more determined to make it not be in vain." That toad hopped three hundred feet in the bottom of that trench, and as far as I know it's still alive today!
I believe God let me observe the toad and the frog to give me a visual contrast of what it means to persevere...to keep pressing on when it all seems hopeless with no end in sight. We cannot see the end of the trench, but He can! I found myself cheering the toad on, "Come on toad just keep going, you can make it!" I believe God is doing the same, "Keep on going, keep persevering, be faithful TO THE END and you will receive the crown of life!" (see Revelation 2:10)
The lesson from the late Mr. Frog--
"GIVING UP is DEADLY !"
The lesson from healthy Mr. Toad--
"NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up!"