I was playing by the pond of our new house with my two grand-daughters, Janna and Abigail, aged 7 and 4. They saw a long branch sticking out of the water at the side of our pier on the pond and wanted me to pull it out. I reached over the railing and started to pull. it wouldn’t come out. I grabbed with both hands, then realized it was attached to a large, heavy log about five feet long that had broken off the tree above.
I was able to move it closer to the pier, and they were able to grab hold of the branch. Together we pulled and got it closer, but it still wouldn’t pull out. We could see in the water that it was stuck in the mud, pinned in by other branches and covered with leaves, plants, and slime. It looked almost like an alligator, so the girls called it “the pond monster.”
A couple of weeks later, their cousins, Frances and Naomi, aged 7 and 5, came to visit for Thanksgiving. Janna and Abigail were eager to show them the monster of the pond. Somehow these four courageous and determined young adventurers pulled this heavy, slimy log—branches, leaves, mud, and all–out of the water. They shouted with excitement, “We’ve captured the pond monster!”
I probably could have pulled the log out myself two weeks earlier if I had really made the effort, but my daughter and wife would not have been happy with all the slime and mess. Yet four resourceful and resolute little girls would find a way.
This reminded me that when we think we are dealing just with a branch in our eye, there may be a huge log attached to it beneath the surface that we may have not seen or don’t want to deal with. Sometimes the logs in our eyes have deeper, larger, and more ingrained roots. We think we have dealt with the log in our eye, and we have dealt with only a branch.
It is a pond monster, and we don’t want to make the effort to pull it out. We have enough mess in our lives, we don’t want to deal with more muck and slime. So we keep the monster of our pond under the surface and bury it in the mud.
However, Scripture counsels us: “Pursue peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:14-15).
If determined little girls can get the monster out of the pond, by God’s grace and our willingness and determined surrender to God, so can we.
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He reached down to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud;
And He set my feet on a rock, making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”