I know toads are harmless little creatures created by God for a purpose, but in the hands of little boys seeking adventure they can quickly become a nuisance and a source of irritation. On more than one occasion this mom’s response to toads has been to run frantically in the opposite direction . . . all the while shouting “Get rid of them!”
I often have a similar reaction to the difficult people God allows in my life.
The Lord’s been teaching me a lot about dealing with “toads” (difficult people) from the life of Moses--a man who was surrounded by them! In Exodus 32, Moses had just spent 40 days and nights alone with the Almighty on Mount Sinai. As this retreat of a life-time draws to a close, Moses must have looked forward to sharing all God had shown him with those who were waiting at the foot of Mount Sinai. But, on the way down the mountain, God lets him in on all that’s been taking place in the Israelite camp:
Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves (Exodus 32:7).
Imagine Moses’ shock. These people know better. They’ve experienced God’s deliverance from Egypt. They’ve known His protection and provision. But now they’re worshipping and sacrificing to an idol; saying the idol brought them out of Egypt! To a man who had just experienced 40 days with God, surely these people were like “toads.”
I wonder if there are any “toads” in your life today . . . any individuals who have become a source of irritation to you because they should know better! Maybe they’ve seen the hand of God at work in their life and yet they’ve turned away from Him.
If you’re wondering how to respond to your “toads,” consider Moses’ interaction with God in Exodus 32. God says to Moses, “I’ve seen it all and I’ve had enough of the rebellious ways of these people. I’m going to destroy them. And when I do, Moses, you and I are going to start all over.”
If I were Moses, I think I would have said, “Amen! They’re so frustrating. Let’s just get rid of them and start all over.” Yet Moses doesn’t see these people as “toads.” He doesn’t say, “Get rid of them!” In fact, just the opposite. He begs God not to destroy them!
But now, if You will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written! (Exodus 32:32).
I’m amazed by Moses’ response. He clearly sees the bigger picture, and understands that this isn’t about him. This is all about God! It is God’s reputation—His name—that is at stake. This is about God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises. This is all about what people would say about God. And in light of that, Moses pleads with God to spare His people.
Oh, how I need Moses’ heart for my “toads”! As I cry out to God for them, I need to remember their choices and actions aren’t about me. It’s not my reputation on the line—it is God’s! What a difference that perspective is making as I respond to my “toads” and plead with God to intervene in their lives.
Would you join me today in praying for the “toads” in your life?
Lord, thank You that You are always doing a thousand things that we cannot see and do not know. We desperately need You to teach us how to love our “toads” as You do. Burden our hearts to pray for them. Enable us to see the bigger picture. Remind us that this is not about us; this is about You . . . Your name, Your reputation. Oh, Lord, may we respond to the “toads” in our life in a way that glorifies Your name! In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.