Sunday, May 23, 2021

Certainty in Uncertain Times

Thirty-five years ago this month, I was commissioned as a naval officer and reported to my first duty station in Pensacola, FL, and today my oldest son reports for active duty as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. My heart swells with pride in his decision to serve, knowing that these are indeed uncertain times. The world has changed dramatically over the past year, and I have no doubt that we will see changes over this next year like no other time in history. 

If I could go back to my younger self, there's so much I would try to teach him, things that I have tried to pass on to my children, some of which they've internalized and some things that cause smiles, jokes and eye rolls. I'm glad to have the transparency with my kids and glad to have them challenge my thoughts as they form their own. Even if they disagree on certain things, they know my beliefs and even how to finish my dad-isms that I've learned and repeated through the years:

  • A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
  • It's okay to drink, but it's never okay to get drunk.
  • Love is a decision to give; lust is a desire to get.
There's so much I want to impart to them, so much I wish I had known. And there are things I'm not sure that I've said enough:
  • Life is hard, but God is good. 
  • Sometimes you know you're on the right path by the resistance you feel along the way.
  • God can be trusted, even if no one else can.
  • God is in control, and He is working everything together for good.
If I could go back to my younger self, I'd tell him what I've tried to teach my kids: to persevere in doing what is right and to not be discouraged by the setbacks in life; instead, press into the opposition. It's taken me years to learn that, and in truth, I'm still learning. But everything happens in God's timing, and He prepares us for the path He's prepared for us. Yes, God is in control and He is working all things together for good for those who are called according to His purposes. 

Our world is cast into uncertainty, but God can be trusted. There is nothing that takes Him by surprise and I can look at Psalm 37 and rejoice in the words He gave us. I can choose to trust in the Lord and do good things, to be faithful and to not be preoccupied by an evil doer succeeding in his schemes. I can choose to wait patiently on the Lord, knowing that He called out the times that we are living, that He foretold the end from the beginning, because He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. 

Look at Israel. He called the Jacob a deceiver and gave him the new name of Israel, the one who struggles with God. He blessed Israel yet foretold how they would fall away from Him and promised to bring them back as a nation fully dedicated to Him. What other nation has been scattered to the winds, throughout the entire earth for 500 years or even a hundred years and survived as a people to become a nation again? Yet Israel was scattered for nearly 2000 years and returned as a nation just as God said. 

This is not coincidence or some happy accident. It is proof that God is Who He said He is and that His Word can be trusted. There is no specific mention of America in the Bible, and I've written numerous times about my beliefs for America's future and Israel's succession. We've seen the enemies of the Constitution seek to deconstruct this nation as part of a great reset planned and proclaimed by globalists, evil men who appear to be succeeding in their schemes. 

Yet my son goes off to serve in these uncertain times, and God is still in control, working all things together for good. And me, I wait patiently on the Lord, trying to be faithful. Like Israel in captivity, I will figuratively plant and build as I wait upon God. I will take comfort in what God has said and Who He is. I will actively resist evil, looking for ways to be that servant-leader in other's lives as I seek to join God in the work He is doing. And I will trust that God will work in my son's life, in all my children's lives, as He has worked in mine despite my own struggles with Him. I too am Israel. Like Jacob, I have not always been faithful, but God has promised to be my Provider and Protector. He has given this promise to me like He did to Israel:
The Lord has reversed the judgments against you.
He has forced out your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is with you.
You will never fear disaster again.
...
At that time I will bring you home.
Yes, at that time I will gather you together.
I will make you famous and praised among all the people of the earth
when I restore your fortunes right before your eyes,” says the Lord.

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