No Road Impassable

A flooded North African road where one vehicle is nearly submerged. The photo is was taken from the back of a vehicel that made it throught the deepest waters. North Africans can be seen standing nearby in the truck, on the sinking car, and off the side of the road to the left.

Believe it or not, there is a road somewhere under all that water! During the rainy season in semi-arid North Africa, rivers overflow and dirt roads can become nearly impassable. 

As missionaries, sometimes the road ahead also seems impassable. First there are all the hurdles of moving overseas and learning to live in a new culture and context. Then there is the work itself. 

After all, we have so many hopes and goals: 

… that people would be interested in hearing the Gospel

… that we could work successfully with our team to translate the Scriptures into a new language

… that people would value the Scriptures and use them in their everyday lives

… that many hearts would be transformed

And yet we have very little control of how these things actually work out! All too often, life makes us painfully aware of the obstacles to be faced and our own inadequacy to conquer them.

We have so many hopes and goals … and very little control over how things actually work out.

When Moses heard God’s call, he also felt inadequate. But have you ever noticed how all of Moses’ objections were all about Moses? “What shall I tell them? What if they don’t believe me? I am not a good speaker. Who am I to deliver this message?” 

In contrast, God’s answers were all about God. “I AM who I AM. I will perform wonders. I will help you speak and teach you what to say. I will be with you.” (Excerpts from Exodus 3 and 4)

The truth is … Moses was inadequate.

The truth is, Moses was inadequate. But it wasn’t about him. And it wasn’t up to him. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was with him. And this God was more than able to overcome impossible obstacles — and make a way through impassable waters!

“I will be with you.” This is the promise God gave Moses. This is God’s promise to us, too. This is the truth that makes all the difference. This is the truth we must cling to as we think about the road ahead. 

“I will be with you.” Jesus is our Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). Because He is with us, we do not need to fear (Isaiah 41:10). Because He is with us, we have the power to obey His command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). And because He is at work within us, we can trust Him to do far beyond what we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). 

It’s not about us. And it’s not up to us. 

The road ahead may seem impassable, even impossible. But as the angel said to Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). 

May He give us the grace to remember and live out this truth.

Esther Greenfield

Esther Anne Greenfield is a poet, missionary, third-culture kid, and mother. She learned to walk and write poetry in East Africa, and she fell in love with her husband on a summer internship in West Africa. Today they live in North Africa, with the goal of sharing God's Word with least-reached people. Esther's writings are inspired by her life in Africa and her love for Jesus. She blogs at

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