Count it ALL joy!

By Jennifer L Griffith

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. [James 1: 2-4]

DSCN1883The drive to pick up farm eggs started like any other. I thanked God out loud for my 1995 Honda Accord and the 245K miles it has carried me. From Louisiana to Wyoming, and Louisiana to Idaho, many times, and finally, back to Louisiana. I’d purchased the car brand new months before I surrendered my life to Christ. Old Faithful and I have been together through my entire “sold out for Jesus” life. Little did I know that the article I started the night before would be put to the test. The 18-year journey we’d made ended that morning with the transmission going “crack” and then kaput while leaving a parking lot.

“Count it ALL joy…”

To be honest, the first 20 minutes, I wasn’t counting anything but the honks of people wanting me out of their way, and my tears. I then began to pray and surrender. “God, this is your problem, and I trust You. I need You.”

“Count it ALL joy…” flooded my mind, battling against, “You know I left my career and business—my financial security, to follow your voice wherever You call.” He knew that my income has been minimal. He knew that I’d lost all of my savings as I walked through a 3.5 year health crisis following a pharmaceutical injury. He knows … it all. “Why now?” As I prayed and surrendered more, I began to see the beauty of God’s design. I now live about a mile from my current job, the grocery store and a post office. I’m about three miles from the sanctuary where I walk and pray. My health is great. And I’m within a safe biking route to anything that I truly need—unlike Baton Rouge or Swaziland, where I’d recently lived.

“Count it ALL joy…”

Within an hour, friends offered bicycles for me to ride. One recalled our conversation from the previous day. I’d left my worn-out bicycle in Idaho fifteen months earlier, and really missed biking for transportation.

“Count it ALL joy…”

As time ticked by, the fact that my car had rolled its final mile began to settle in, along with the peace that surpasses all understanding. [Phil 4: 7] From the day I bought it, I planned to drive it until it died—and I did! I just hoped for 100K more miles. But I knew that God already had a plan. He’s been faithful. He IS faithful. I began to rest. He’s been trustworthy. He IS trustworthy. He’s carried me through countless trials and many miles of impossibilities.

“Count it ALL joy…”

And then the words of a close friend sealed it: “Girl, God’s just building another testimony into your life.” We began to laugh and laugh while my heart filled with utter JOY. She was right, and my choice became simple. Stand confident, because God’s got this. Be content in all circumstances. [Phil 4:11-13] And I truly am! When the impossible comes along, God has an ample stage to show off. And he surely does, especially amid our praises and allowing him room to do His thing, in His way, and in His time.

“Count it ALL joy!”

I slept like a rock that night. I know that the Rock I rest upon has nothing to do with how well I’ve planned or the security in this world, but where He directs my steps. [Prov 16:9] He who promises [to take care of me] is faithful. [Heb 10:23] He is higher than I. [Ps 61:2] He is doing something greater in me, through me, and around me. This opportunity to grow in deeper trust wouldn’t have happened if I stayed on MY planned course: safe career and successful business. The old, self-sufficient me would’ve stressed over the purchase of another car, in haste. I can’t explain the whys of the trials and struggles, but I know that God’s called us to live for and trust in him, alone. Period! What better way than to walk through the multiple impossibilities of life, building a greater foundation of faith than what you could ever find in the bank.

As I bike from place to place in Louisiana’s oppressive heat, I delight myself in all that God has done and continues to do in my life. I am truly counting it ALL joy!

I do not know the trials that you may be going through today, but reach deep inside and ask God to reveal a way for you to count it all joy! His Word is faithful and true, and He says, “Count it all joy!” [James 1:2-4]

UPDATE:

Jennifer with new van!Seventeen days after my “Old Faithful” car went kaput and I chose to count it all JOY, God stepped in and provided beyond measure! No Heart Left Behind had a 2005 minivan on hand. When founder Abby Shields asked God if it was meant for them to use for their ministry, He said, NO! While seeking God as to who He wanted to have this van, No Heart Left Behind discovered through a Facebook post that I no longer had transportation beyond a bicycle. God then told her the van was meant for me! The following day, my territory expanded, along with my transport capacity. Insurance for 6 months, tax, title, & registration fees included. I am in total awe of God’s amazing ways, and can’t wait to see what He has planned. Obviously it’s bigger than what my 1995 Honda Accord could handle!

I am humbled and excited by God’s touch, His ever-faithful provisions, and His amazing ways. He’s given me a hint of a possible reason for this upgraded provision, and let’s just say, no matter what, it WILL be another adventure! If you want to know more about No Heart Left Behind, please check them out! They live what they believe: “Donations are used for our Community Outreach Ministry. The purpose of our community Outreach Ministry is to assist individuals and families in situations of severe financial stress due to loss of shelter, inadequate food supply, inadequate transportation, and emergency medical needs. In addition, the Benevolence Ministry seeks to serve individuals or families with prayer and referral services in order to address their financial, spiritual, emotional, and relational needs in times of crisis.” THANK YOU to the person who donated to No Heart Left Behind to make this happen! May God’s favor shower upon your life even more!

Interesting note: No Heart Left Behind purchased the van on the exact day that my car went kaput!!

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