My faith has been stretched while preparing to go to Africa. One way in particular this has happened has been through the recent diagnosis of a kidney disorder that I have. The first diagnosis came in, which led to more tests. We had to wait a couple of days to hear the results from that test. During those days, I didn't know if I would still be able to go on the trip or not. I wondered if I had kidney stones or not, and if I did, would they dissolve in time?
During this time all I could do was wait. As I waited, I wrestled. I knew that God wanted me to go on the trip. Our support money was all raised, we had gotten our shots and purchased our airline tickets. Everything was falling into place. Would God allow this situation to keep me from going? Maybe He just wanted me to be willing to go, but not actually go? Or was this an opportunity for Him to get glory as He worked this out? I went back and forth.
God gave me the verse, "...for when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow..." (James 1:2) The light bulb turned on and I realized that my faith was being tested through this.
Later, I was reading Max Lucato's book Traveling Light. A quote from the book says, "The Shepherd selects the trail and prepares the pasture. The sheep's job is to watch the Shepherd." Wow! What a timely reminder. God was in charge of choosing my pasture...either in Africa or Minnesota. My job was simply to watch Him and follow. He would choose the BEST pasture for me, for the BEST reasons.
God brought me to a point of realizing that it was a privilege to have my faith stretched in this way. To think that the God of the universe would care enough about little ol' me to deepen my faith through this! I would trust Him, my Shepherd, to choose the right pasture for me.
I had just gotten done sharing this journal entry with Tom, when suddenly the phone rang. It was the doctor with the test results. She gladly gave me the green light to go on to Africa!! :-)