A Frog on My Shelf

Since taking up the role of President of One Mission Society, Esther and I have been overwhelmed by the undeserved kindness shown to us. The biggest and greatest gift given to us by many supporters is their assurance of prayer. Our sense of needing God, of knowing that he’s guiding and helping and empowering us, is intense. The desire of our hearts is to serve out of an overflow of a deep love relationship with Christ while walking in all-out dependence on him.

There is a frog in my office. It’s not a live frog, nor is it an idol or good luck charm. Crafted out of metal, it sits on the shelf as if watching and listening to what is going on. Some who have seen it have commented, “Oh, that’s a cute frog. Why is it sitting there?”

Esther gave me this frog a few years ago to serve as a constant reminder of an important truth embedded in Psalm 20:7: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” The meaning of the frog in my office is that God is fully dependable and faithful. He is completely trustworthy. Therefore, we can Fully Rely On God!

On several occasions, I’ve looked thoughtfully over at that frog. I have wondered what went through the minds of Abraham and Sarah when God told them in their old age that they would have a son. Really? Sarah, realizing her child-bearing years were well behind her, laughed at this idea. But God was reliable … a son was born!

What did Joseph think about the trustworthiness of God when his jealous brothers threw him into a desert cistern, leaving him there to die? He had to wonder if God had also abandoned him. Yet, many years later, in a face-to-face encounter with those same brothers, Joseph was able to say with conviction, “ You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20). God was fully trustworthy.

Then, there’s the story of Moses leading the people of Israel out of Egypt. As they were camping by the sea (Exodus 14), they looked back in horror to realize that the Egyptians―all of Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops―were closing in on them. The Israelites were terrified and cried out to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” They had concluded that Moses and the God he represented were unreliable, that they couldn’t be trusted.

Moses replied, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent (Exodus 14:13-14). God was again faithful and totally trustworthy. By his power, the sea parted and the Israelites walked through on dry ground. As the Egyptians pursued them, the waters flowed back and covered them and their horses. Not one of them survived. “And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant” (Exodus 14:31, NIV). God was fully reliable.

We can be amazed at these and many other biblical accounts showing the trustworthiness of God. But the real test comes when we find ourselves in what feels like an utterly hopeless situation, when the odds are overwhelming and it appears that God is inattentive, that he has shut his ears to our pleas or has even abandoned us. It’s in these kinds of critical times, which are common in our earthly journey, that the frog in my office reminds us of this: We can Fully Rely On God.

God has been reliable in the past, he is fully trustworthy today, and we can count on him fully as we move forward. In many OMS publications are stories depicting radical dependence upon this faithful God. They call us to trust him when most would feel like quitting, when human hope has dissipated. We all face those moments. The big question for us as an OMS family is this: In times like these, will we F.R.O.G.?

Thank you for welcoming Esther and me into this very special family! If you’re ever in Greenwood, you’re welcome to come see my frog.

Bob Fetherlin
President, One Mission Society

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