Coffee With A Frog
When my kids were young we took them on a trip to Florida to see family and enjoy Disneyworld and Epcot. At that time the popular saying was WWJD, "What Would Jesus Do". It was everywhere. I'm sure the creators were hoping this would help the world be a better place to live, and who's to say it didn't. So, because it was the trend, we had our whole family wear tie-dye bracelets declaring WWJD, thinking that this icon strapped to our wrists would help us discover each other if anyone was lost. Not sure my kids were really happy with the idea, but they complied. On a side note, my youngest son did get lost and the bracelet did not help one little bit. He was later discovered with 3 teenage girls on a waterslide with a huge grin on his face.
Not long after that, the newest trend was F.R.O.G, meaning "Fully Rely On God". An equally interesting trend and I am sure there was a hope that the world would follow along by just wearing, or using, or sporting this moniker. When this acronym came up on my social media recently, I did take note again. It instantly flashed on me, the importance of what this FROG stands for. When things like this are brought up at weird times, I always know that it is God talking to me and showing me the way. I felt that since I had been focusing a bit on hope in our everyday lives during this difficult time in our society, I thought it might be good to continue to look at the hope that we can, and will receive in Jesus Christ if we are able to believe and fully rely on Him.
How is it that we can fully rely on a God that we cannot see and sometimes cannot even feel is near or present? What does this even look like? I can tell you that in my past experiences, that has been something I have thought a lot about. How do we find a courage or an understanding of something that is not tangible? Or isn't it?
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you." This good word was given to Joshua by Moses when he was going to lead the Israelites into the promise land. This was a time they needed great hope in God and needed to fully rely on him since their leader, Moses would not be going with them. During this time God made it clear to the people that they needed to be a people of the word who would hear God's voice and obey it. I think this is what it means to fully rely on God. I think this is where it is tangible to find our hope in Him.
Praying, studying, worshiping, spending time with God is the way we are able to tangibly see God. Our God is with us all the time, but we cannot always hear him or see him or even feel him if we are not taking time to obey him. As believers we can have all these things, but only through obedience. In this crazy time when we are sometimes without hope, God only asks that we cast all our anxieties on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) When we have a relationship with Christ, we have the privilege of having him take care of our burdens. Can you imagine someone else taking care of the things you are struggling with? What a relief it would be! I can hear the huge exhale of breath as each of you realize this and let go spiritually and physically of each struggle you are dealing with. When we begin to lose hope it can be difficult to give these burdens over to God, but when we don't do this we may miss the blessings that he has in store for us because we are so focused on the problem. The blessing might be standing right in front of you in the form of a job, a medical advancement, a solution in the form of a friend, but we often turn away from all of this when we are so consumed by the struggle and then it becomes impossible to notice. These are the times when I see people isolate themselves in their homes, turn to drugs or alcohol, stop returning phone calls and texts of friends who are reaching out, stop going to church, and begin a life of complaining. Have you been in one of these places? I have. During a very difficult time in my first marriage, with a newborn, I completely turned away from my family because I became too embarrassed for them to see the mess I had gotten myself into. I definitely turned away from God and did not allow him into my struggle at all. In the end, it turned out very badly for me and my son with physical and mental abuse and eventually divorce and a separation of my son from his dad. But it did finally change, but only when I gave myself over to Christ and he sent a very real prince into my life who cherished me and my son as his own. We are still together 29 years later.
By giving all of our struggles over to God we can enjoy an inward peace that we need to overcome the fiery trials we are given in this life. The thing is, though, we must give these struggles over to God once and for all. We don't get to piecemeal our problems, keeping those cares that we think we can handle ourselves. If we think we can keep the little problems and only hand over the gigantic ones, the little ones will soon become humongous problems, and now God is wondering when you will give him anything to take care of. Christ sees all the problems and struggles, the lack of hope, and he is waiting, oh so patiently, for you to give them to him for his very large shoulders to carry. Each time a new burden arises, God is waiting for you, by faith, to turn it over to him and he will then, turn over a big blessing to you. This takes faith and faith is obedience.
So, what will it look like when you decide, through faith, to fully rely on God and turn over every strife to him? Warren W. Wiersbe, in The Wiersbe Bible Commentary writes that he believes God will provide these things:
Courage to face our fears honestly and not run away
Wisdom to understand the situation
Strength to do what we must do
Faith to trust Him to do the rest
God will do these things for us, I can attest to that, but he also wants us to do some work in it as well. We can't expect Him to do everything and just sit back and wait. He will guide you in the work you need to do and help you along the way.
There is a hope for you and your struggles and burdens. Joseph Fort Newton, an American Baptist Minister said, "We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us, how we take it, what we do with it- and that is what really counts in the end" I believe he was considering our struggles and God's mighty hand of help when he said this. The hope for our struggles and burdens comes only from deciding what happens next. Our decision to have faith in our Holy Father and to put our struggles and burdens on his back, is the action we must take in order for us to come out from underneath the issues we are facing today.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (CSB) God has made his plan for you and he will keep his promise to bring hope and peace. But, you must first Fully Rely On God.
Take the next step, check your coffee cup for frogs before adding the hot goodness, pray to our Heavenly Father for his encouragement and promise, then F.R.O.G! Fully Rely On God and hold on to your seat for the blessings to come rushing in. I can't wait to hear about your victories.