We typically think of reptiles and amphibians as restricted to warmer climates. Yet here in Washington I’ve seen my share of turtles, frogs, newts, and snakes. They’re everywhere. But certainly not in places like Alaska – right? Especially not up north in cities like Fairbanks, correct?
Well, it appears there is at least one species of frog that thrives as far north as Fairbanks – and it is an amazing frog at that. I’m talking about the Alaskan Wood Frog which has the surprising ability to survive the fierce northern Alaskan winters, which freeze these deeply burrowed frogs solid – down to temperatures of minus 18 Celsius.
This frog can also survive multiple freeze-thaw cycles as well. Then, when spring comes, they miraculously spring back to life without suffering any cellular damage.
Buried Yet Alive
How do they do it? The Alaskan wood frog essentially has antifreeze in every cell of its body. That’s right, this particular frog has high concentrations of “cryoprotectants” in its blood and tissue. These are solutes – including glucose and urea – that lower the freezing temperature of the frog’s cells. Therefore, even when the ground it’s burrowed in freezes as hard as rock, no harm comes to this tough little frog. Oh, sure, its heart and respiration come to a complete halt. But its life remains.
The Weight of Complacency
You know, God’s children can sometimes suffer a sort of spiritual “deep freeze.” These are those periods of prolonged adversity, when all signs of life come to a standstill, when we feel absolutely nothing, when our spiritual life seems to have frozen cold and we are completely numb and unproductive. They are those times when our passion is gone and we are barely going through the motions.
These are troubling times. First, because we never dreamed God would ever allow such fierce winters to come upon us. Second, because we’ve always believed that true Christians should always be vibrant, always upbeat and on top of our moods. Yet, when the deep freezes come, we are tempted to believe that God has let us down and that we have let Him down.
Yet God can help us survive these intensely icy periods – and can thaw us, warm us, and revive us again. We often mistakenly think that God promised to never allow winter to come. But that is not His promise. His promise is that His grace will be sufficient for us no matter how fierce and cold the winter may be (2 Corinthians 12:9). His promise is to keep our souls (Psalm 121:7) and to preserve our faith (Luke 22:31-32). Yes, there may be times when we feel like our faith has frozen solid. But God keeps it alive and then makes it alive and vibrant as He ushers in a new season.
Are you in a sort of spiritual hibernation? Do you feel like your heart is encased in ice and all your passion and faith are frozen? Please don’t add to your sorrows by beating yourself up for not being a better Christian. Place yourself in the loving hands of your Heavenly Father, who promised to perfect the good work He began in you (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 12:3). Not only will He get you through this winter without any lasting damage. Your Heavenly Father will bring you out of this deep freeze warmer and stronger than before.
Dear Father in heaven, into Your loving and capable hands I place my life, my heart, and my faith. Dear Lord, You began this good work in me and I trust You to perfect it until the day of Christ’s return. Amen.
If you are dealing with this issue, you do not need to face the challenge alone. Jesus has conquered every challenge so you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming hope. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.
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