What’s That Smell?: The frogs died, but their lingering smell did not.

“And the Lord did according to the word of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 14 And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank.” Exodus 8:13-14 ESV


As we were bringing our weekly corporate prayer time to close, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to pray against a lingering nuisance. So many had been eager to say goodbye to 2021 and hello to the new possibilities of 2022. With so much promise ahead of us, the variant known as omicron decided to make its appearance. It was in this “Oh no, here we go again!” backdrop that I heard in my heart and mind, to begin to resist the enemy who would love for us to stay in the dark shadows of a pandemic.

Our church family has been so strong through the last 18 months. We have taken our hits, and we keep moving forward, but as soon as I felt this word of the Lord, I could now see it, smell it. Look around the world and you see the signs saying it’s time for us to move forward, and yet it seems they are speaking to no one in charge who is willing to listen. Kind of like Pharoah and Moses. Every time I get to this part of Exodus, I try my hardest not to read ahead of the story because I know it so well. 10 plagues, Pharoah’s hard heart, and Moses’ repeated trip to the palace to say on God’s behalf, “Let my people go!” It’s the same drill for a few chapters. They would be allowed to go, but with certain conditions. At times they would be told to get out and then suddenly a change of mind would keep them right where they are.

I am sure there are many reading this that can relate to our current situation with the pandemic. I will stay away from the political hot topics. That is for someone else to write about. But you cannot deny that people are weary of the wackiness that surrounds us, and we just want to move forward and get on with life. This was what I was sensing when praying with my church family.

A few days later, I was reading the story of the Exodus and trying my hardest not to check out with the plagues. It was then I saw the frogs. Yes, the frogs. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have them everywhere while you are trying to do laundry, cook dinner, and drive to work. That would begin to be a nuisance for sure, but it was the after effect more than the actual plague that caught my attention. The frogs died, but their lingering smell did not. The Bible says as they were piled up in heaps, they filled the land with a stench. This is what many are experiencing today. We see the light, but we still smell the smell. The smell is a constant reminder of where we have been. The smell is empty shelves and high gas prices. It is silos of mask verse unmasked, vax versus unvaxxed and everything else that has become part of our everyday lives. There is a lingering smell that won’t go away.

The good news is that we see the end of this story in Exodus. They do not stay in slavery, though there was a big battle in their minds to keep them there. I want to encourage you to keep moving forward no matter what lingering smell is trying to annoy you. That stench is not your future. Do not allow the negatives to overshadow the positives. When you smell the frogs, instead of getting frustrated, stop and smell the coffee in the morning as you spend time with Jesus. Smell the delicious dinner you are enjoying with your family. Get captivated by the cologne or perfume of your spouse as you hold them close. Hey, enjoy the diaper change of that beautiful baby you hold in your hands. Do not allow the lingering stench of pandemic and politics keep you from anticipating the good that is coming and the life that is to be lived and enjoyed with Jesus.