By: Jennifer L Griffith
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
“That’s gutsy for you to go to Africa.”
A few weeks ago I traveled back to Idaho where I’d called home for well over a decade. Several friends and acquaintances expressed this same sentiment during my visit. Considering my history, they have good reason to question this assignment for me. And I have to admit, their reasons have crossed my mind many times. But each time I have submitted these concerns to God, and He still says, “Go!”
My Idaho community understands something that others may not. They’d witnessed, prayed and helped me through a major health crisis following a pharmaceutical injection into my knee in 2008. Prior to this event, I biked for transportation, hiked about 5000 feet in a day to downhill ski, and had endless energy to do whatever came my way. The aftermath of this injection left me trembling on the floor, throwing up and passing out for over a year. I also experienced coordination and balance issues, debilitating fatigue, systemic numbness, and many other symptoms, but not the least, severe chemical sensitivities. I felt on the brink of death, hopeless and alone, seeking wisdom and direction. God then brought the right doctor across my path. One who could see my plight, and had a heart to help.
My journey to health took far longer than anyone could’ve anticipated. Especially me. After a year, I had a reduction in symptoms, but I thought I’d never feel “fair” again. Returning to “great health” seemed unattainable. But God did not let me give up, and neither did my doctors. After 3.5 years of prayers and extensive naturopathic medical treatment, I started to “live” again for longer stretches of time. And while walking a fine line between thriving and merely surviving, no one, including me, could’ve imagined what God would call me to do next. He led me from the pristine air of the Northern Rockies to Baton Rouge, La. A city surrounded by chemical refineries, heat and humidity, yet a place where He has protected, stretched and blessed me beyond measure. The gifts I’ve received have been priceless. Then four months after I arrived, He called me to an even harder place to imagine – Africa!
But God imagined! And He said, “Go!”
Throughout history God called people to “Go” when it didn’t make a lick of sense to the human mind. Judges records the story of a humble man named Gideon. God called him out of a wine press to lead an army against the ruthless Midianites, the historical enemy of the Israelites. In Gideon’s mind, it made sense to gather as many men as possible to fight an army of 135,000. Yet, after Gideon gathered 32,000 men, God said he had too many, and eventually reduced Gideon’s army down to 300. God said, “Now you’re ready.”
Gideon’s thoughts may have resembled mine. “But God?”
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:24
God went before Gideon and delivered victory like He did for so many others throughout time. He will go before me and prepare the way. He will give me wisdom and discernment as to how He wants me to prepare, because I’ve asked. He will!
Just as Gideon trembled and questioned whether he heard God’s voice, he fought the battle as God ordained. I cannot allow my vulnerable health to keep me from going where He leads! We should never allow our weakness to keep us from following where He calls. Of my own accord, I would still live in a cabin in the Tetons surrounded by a million acres of national forest. On so many levels, either move would be ridiculous if merely my will. Yet with God’s assurance, He who called has been incredibly faithful through every leg of my journey. I have no less confidence that his faithfulness travels beyond the borders of the universe.
So when God calls you, just GO! He will prepare you! He will prepare the way before you. GO out of obedience. GO, to honor Him. GO, wherever He leads. He would never lead your astray. Just GO!
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
If you’d like to keep up with Jennifer’s journey to Swaziland, know her prayer concerns, or support financially, go here. Be blessed, and just GO!