First of all, I need to get something off my chest…I didn’t believe that I could get there. I didn’t believe that the voice that was inviting me on an adventure was the voice of God. I thought that I was probably making it all up, that I was stirring up an old longing again. I just didn’t believe. There, I said it, and now I feel better.
Let me back up… It was December, cold and windy and less than two months before a group of men that I didn’t really know were scheduled to depart on their voyage to Nigeria. I bumped into one of the guys at a gathering and he offered me a standing invitation to join him on any trip of which he was a part. Little did he know that even while I was thanking him and making plans in my head, I was really beginning to cope with the fact that I could never afford a trip to Africa. So, I began to let the dream die.
But something in that dream persisted. I began having thoughts and visions of what my time there might look like. I felt something in my chest, I call it a ‘pressing.’ But it was really more like a ‘knowing.’ A ‘knowing’ that God was inviting me on a journey, that He was asking me to take a few steps, and that He would take care of me even in my weakness and trembling.
I knew that if I didn’t do something about this ‘invitation’ that my courage would bow to fear and that I would continue to carry the weight of this moment for a long time. So I jumped. I took the first step by telling my friend about this ‘pressing’ and asking him more about his trip. I confessed my fear in pursuing something that seemed so implausible for me to accomplish. I expressed my hope but then immediately expressed my fears. I began naming all the hurdles that would have to be overcome in order for me to get there. Money, visas, shots, airline tickets, time away from family and work. It was like I was giving a list of excuses as to why the dream wasn’t going to happen.
But God wasn’t impressed with my list! One by one He began knocking down the barriers, proving to me that He is the God that overcomes… and overcomes… and overcomes.
In a month-and-a-half all the barriers were gone, and I was on a plane with some of the best men I’ve ever met. I’ll always have the pictures and the stories of what we did while we were there.
But the greatest impression I have from the trip is what God did to get me there.
He is greater than my circumstances. He is greater than the obstacles. He is greater than my fears. He is greater.
To see and read more about the experience in Nigeria, check out my blog from the trip.