Joseph & Stacie's Blog notes from the journey & pictures of Peter, Eric, & Hudson

Walking by Faith – Do Not Be Afraid

by Joseph Graber

Walking by faith sounds so glamorous…exciting, adventurous, as seen on TV kind of stuff. But the truth is, walking by faith is often a tired and dirty walk that happens when I have no other options left. I love telling stories about walking by faith once they’re safely in the past. But a walking by faith story in the present is often not that glamorous and feels more like desperation than faith. My friend Jack Jarvis, the director of Bearing Precious Seed in El Paso puts it this way, “Everybody likes to hear the stories, but nobody wants to live them.” This summer I lived some stories. I have also been reminded of some stories from the past. I want to share one of them with you.

I went out to Bearing Precious Seed in El Paso to help with two weeks of Mexico missions in the first part of July. God has been showing me things about fear and faith this year and when I arrived at the mission Mr. Jarvis was talking about fear and faith. As soon as I arrived Mr. Jarvis started talking about painting a Scripture mural above the stairway leading to the dorms. When he told me what verse he wanted to have painted I immediately volunteered. It was two verses actually, and they had long ago become my Mexico verses- but that is a walking by faith story! Here it is:

A missionary had invited me to come and do a week of meetings at a church in Mexico. However, due to some scheduling conflicts I was not able to enter Mexico on the same day he did. As soon as I realized that I would have to drive my own vehicle with all my chalk equipment into Mexico I was concerned. I knew about the different checkpoints in Mexico, I knew how much equipment I would have in my vehicle, and I knew that I did not know Spanish, so I had good grounds to be worried.

This sudden turn of events had left my head spinning- what was I to do? The following morning my Aunt Barbara called me and asked if I had my verse for the day. I responded that I did not have a verse for the day but I definitely needed one! She told me to read Isaiah 41:10&13.

Isa 41

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

That did it for me! God would hold my hand as I went into Mexico! That Sunday night I spent the night on the border. Monday morning sitting in the truck I reached up and grabbed God’s hand. Encouraged, I drove across the bridge and started the process of entering Mexico. It was a hassle. I went back and forth several times. It was amazing, every time I arrived at a desk a missionary would step out of the crowd and interpret for me! This happened several times- always a different missionary, always exactly when I needed it. Finally I was cleared.

As I approached the first checkpoint apprehension returned. Needing reassurance I again reached up my hand to grab His hand and told God how much I needed Him. The guards glanced at my paperwork, the light turned green and I was waved through. I was so blessed! This little scene repeated itself at every checkpoint. I would reach up for God’s hand and then I was waved through!

I had a good week with the church in Mexico and by the following week it was time for me to leave. This time I would be following the missionary back to the border. He told me that if I got pulled over he would come back and interpret for me. As we approached the first checkpoint I automatically reached for God’s hand. At the checkpoint, the missionary was pulled over and I was waved through!

God delights to demonstrate His love towards us.

Sure the world, the flesh, and the devil are out to get you, but you have God on your side. Let Him hold your hand-

Walk by faith!

Upheld by the hand of God-

Joseph J Graber

Be watching for the next part of Walking by Faith: Don’t Quit!

IMG_4601Faith

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