Got lizards? Grab FROG

“A crazy dream, that’s all.” The Preacher sat on the edge of the bed, still shuddering. Nightmares often chase him down, robbing precious sleep.

“What was it?” I wanted to know.

 “Lizards. Crawling everywhere.”  A plague of lizards, it seems, overwhelming him with their noxious presence.  

 It seemed so crazy. Laughable. But a few nights later, he had the same dream. This time he remembered more: He’d bent down to grab one of the lizards, he said, presumably hoping to toss it far. But as he grasped and lifted it, the lizard turned into a frog and hopped away.

 The dream returned again after that. Weeks later, in a sermon, he confessed to the congregation that he hadn’t fully figured out the lizards yet. “But the frog part of the dream,” he said, “reminded me of a church Kathleen and I spoke at a few years ago.”

 I remembered the church, and the warm welcome we’d received. I also recalled the charming collection of frogs in the foyer. Frogs of every type, from garden statues to puppets and stuffies to ceramic soap holders. A sign encouraged visitors to “Pick a frog, any frog. Take it home. Put it where you can see it. And let it remind you to F-R-O-G. Fully Rely On God.”

 “Every time I look at the frog my wife chose – she hid it in our front garden – I think of that acrostic,” he said. Looking out at the faces looking up at him, he added, “Perhaps that’s what God wanted to remind me of through that dream. What he wants me to remind you as well. That whatever life circumstances threaten to overwhelm us and steal our peace, we must remember that God is good. Loving. Powerful. And fully reliable.”

 “I didn’t hide the frog,” I reminded him later. “The flowers grew over it!” I moved it forward the next day while weeding the garden. As I worked, I noticed a small dark shape moving quickly toward the foundation of the house. Thinking mouse, I walked over to the spot where it stopped. To my astonishment, a tiny frog cowered in the shadows. In the almost decade since we’d moved to our home, I’d never seen a frog in that flowerbed.

 Within weeks, we encountered numerous frogs. At the beach. At the campsite. One even arrived in the form of a candle-holder. I began praying, “God, we can’t see what’s coming down the road, but I’m getting the message. Whatever it is, you want us to remember that you are trustworthy. That we’re never left to handle our lizards alone.”

 The lizards have names now. I won’t say what they are, because you have your own. Fellow follower of Jesus, FROG. And hold onto this promise from Romans 8:28. “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”