John Gredy’s pilgrim progress has been shaped on the principles of faith and waiting. The first time John and his wife took a leap of faith was during a youth leadership conference at Cedarville University. Both John and his wife sensed God leading them to resign their jobs and work in Christian higher education. At the time John, with his master’s in counseling and a partially completed doctorate in college administration, worked as an administrator for a community college in Indiana. After resigning, both John and his wife spent a year at the Word of Life Bible Institute in upstate New York for training. During this time, John also completed his doctorate. After a few months of waiting, God met the desires of their hearts; the couple has served for 33 years in various Christian universities. Recently the Lord, once again, called John to take another step of faith and resign from Cedarville. However, this time the waiting would last longer.
Since stepping out in faith, John has developed deeper understanding, trust, and devotion. While the loss of a paying job and its comforts are difficult, the lack of health coverage can be frightening. John has been through 4 bouts of melanoma and his wife has chronic knee issues requiring continual hospital care/visits. John and his wife had to believe they would be taken care of, that they would be provided for. John’s leap of faith is akin to Abraham’s journey in the Bible.
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place, which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city, which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. …These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
Hebrews 11:8-10, 13
So, what has this journey taught John thus far?
When we are called, we are not called to an occupation; we are called to Christ. Our primary calling is to be totally and completely devoted to Jesus Christ. The calling itself is not center stage, rather how we faithfully respond to the calling. Periods of waiting may help us see our focusmust be on who God is calling us to be in Him, rather than on what we are to be doing.
When we follow Christ, how we wait is just as important as how we go and serve. Active faith, both in waiting and doing, enables us to endure the long journey. For John, this included continuous prayer and daily Bible reading. John also continues to serve as house church leader, and serves as a mentor to younger men. John is amazed how contentment and joy are always accessible, through the Holy Spirit, even during the bleakest and loneliest days.
Sometimes the Lord will silence some of the busyness of this world, just so we can hear His voice clearly and empty of ourselves to enable growth in Him. God’s word, throughout the entire Bible, speaks to how we should wait. We wait expectantly for the return of Christ. Thus, active waiting for His return should lead every believer into a deeper growth in Christ. Like Abraham, our faith should be steadfast in our waiting even without visible affirmations.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” - Psalm 27:13-14
Author: Sarah Maigur
Photographer: Bolanle Sobande