We are a society that seems to be in love with acronyms and abbreviations. When I was growing up, the most popular ones were ASAP (As Soon As Possible), FYI (For Your Information) and SWAK (Sealed With A Kiss). Televisions turned into TV’s, personal computers morphed into PC’s and compact discs became CD’s, Now, there’s an acronym or an abbreviation for just about everything. Diseases and medical concerns are identified by their letters, like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder). Most government agencies are referred to by their acronyms like NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), NYPD (New York Police Department), DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) and NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). And of course, texting has become a language unto itself, with some people actually using the letters instead of the words in their everyday, speak-out-loud conversations:
LOL - Laugh Out Loud
BFF - Best Friends Forever
IDK - I Don’t Know
SMH - Shake My Head
TMI - Too Much Information
One acronym I came across some years ago had me perplexed at first sight. When I was volunteering at my church’s now defunct book/gift store, we carried quite a few items for kids that displayed the following letters: F.R.O.G. One was actually a plastic frog (see below) with the letters emblazoned across his/her forehead (wait -- do frogs actually HAVE foreheads? Never mind).
I asked the woman who managed the store and she explained that the letters stood for Fully Rely On God. As someone brand new to faith in Christ, I found this both interesting and extremely weird (yet later wound up buying two of these plastic frogs for my son and daughter).
What does it mean to Fully Rely On God? It means to trust Him in every situation of your life and with every person in your life and for every need in your life. No matter how hopeless and horrible a situation or a person seems to be, God tells us to trust Him fully, completely. Trust is key in our relationship with Him. In the Amplified Bible, which uses synonyms to ‘amplify’ various words in a text, Psalm 22:4 looks like this: “Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted (leaned on, relied on You and were confident) and You delivered them.” Then there’s Psalm 28:7: The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped.” And Psalm 32:10: Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and with loving-kindness.”
Take notice of something here in these three verses: when we, God’s people, do our part…trusting, relying on and confidently leaning on Him, He does His part…delivering us, helping us, surrounding us with His mercy and loving-kindness. Seems almost like a no-brainer, yes? Then why do we struggle so with trusting God? Why do I? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know for me, in part it’s because I forget. I forget how much I am loved and cared for and delighted in by the God of the universe. I forget all the times that God has come to my rescue, turning around those seemingly hopeless and impossible situations in my life and working them out for my good and His glory and honor… and sometimes, with only moments to spare at that. I forget how mighty and powerful and all-sufficient my Father God has been…and is. I’m also somewhat of a victim of media brainwashing. You know, all that ‘Believe in yourself,’ ‘follow your heart,‘ and ‘trust no one but you,’ mentality. We’re force fed an unhealthy diet of that baloney everyday via books, movies, reality TV shows, even song lyrics. But God clearly tells us to trust and believe in Him. And not just for a few things here and there. For E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
I’m currently reading “Radical,” a book by David Platt. I’m on Chapter 3, entitled ‘The Importance of Relying On God’s Power.‘ Today, I came across this sentence: ‘This is how God works: He puts His people in positions where they are desperate for His power, and then He shows His provision in ways that display His greatness.’ Platt goes on to talk about the disciples in the Book of Acts, how this motley group of scared silly, lower-class, uneducated commoners hiding in an upper room (and, by the way, on whom the spreading of the gospel and Christianity now depends upon) ‘are not busy putting their faith in themselves or relying on themselves. They are pleading for the power of God, and they are confident that they are not going to accomplish anything without His provision.’ God most certainly placed them in a position where they were desperate for His power and they came to realize at that time and in their bleak situation that they had no other choice but to Fully Rely On God. If you know the rest of the story, you know that God comes through in an amazingly powerful and supernatural way, changing everything and everyone by sending the promised Holy Spirit to descend upon each person in that room. They trusted in, relied on and confidently leaned on God and He came through. They did their part….then God did His.
It’s no surprise to me that I wound up in this chapter at this particular time. For the past several weeks, I’ve been struggling with a situation that concerns my son’s education. Because he was born with special needs, his high school child study team and counselors referred us in May of this year to an agency that would guide him and advocate for him as we sought to get him into a particular college program. My son was excited and so looking forward to begin studying for his dream of working in the culinary arts. But suffice it to say that as a result of a series of unfortunate events and unforeseen circumstances, things fell through the cracks and now no one at the agency or the college can guarantee us that he will be attending this year. My son is crushed and angry, and I’ve been beside myself with anger, frustration, worry and anxiety. I’ve done everything I possibly could think of to turn this situation around and today, after making phone call after phone call to various people, I felt like all I did was go in circles. Then, this afternoon, I came to this chapter. And I was reminded that this is indeed how God works. Once again, He’s put me in a position where I am DESPERATE for His power and where the F.R.O.G. concept comes into play. If I determine to Fully Rely On God….if I do my part by purposely trusting in, relying upon and confidently leaning on my Father God, He will do His part, showing my son and I His provision in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine, displaying His greatness and bringing all glory and honor to Himself. No matter what the outcome, I HAVE TO trust and believe that God’s got a plan for my son, that He has his best interests at heart and that He didn’t bring us this far just to drop us and leave us by the wayside.
Open your eyes
But don’t let go of My hand,
Let your tears give way to smiles
See the joy inside the trial;
Don’t worry, you’re safe with Me around
Rest assured I’m on your side,
I won’t let you hit the ground,
But close as it seems..
Though you can’t see
You can trust Me;
The way may be steep
You can trust Me,
Let Me lead...trust Me ~ Trust Me, by Crystal Lewis