We had given up on Chris’s calling to be an Air Force chaplain. All the doors had been closed. All the roads led the wrong way. It was the beginning of August, I think, and we just thought that God was going to take us on a different route. But you know God has a way of coming through with His promises. Not all of the promises are in the Bible. He makes personal promises to us as well. We were living in Oklahoma City. A call came for Chris from the Air Force. Seems the Air Force wanted him after all. The chaplain one the other end wondered why Chris hadn’t reported in to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. The chaplain named Bobby Black was calling. Well, we look at each other in confusion and then jumped up and down and danced all over the den frightening the toddlers. But they soon joined in the dance and wondered what it was all about. “When are we going, when are we going, they all began to shout.”
You wouldn’t believe how green we were. I mean we were innocent little lambs. The first Sunday all the chaplains wanted to take the little family out to eat. So I’m wondering where the restaurant is because we’re heading straight downtown to the casinos. I don’t want to get concerned but all the chaplains parked in front of one of the better casinos on the strip. I’m looking at Chris and he’s looking at me and the other chaplains are grinning from ear to ear. This is standard procedure in Las Vegas. You get a fantastic amount of awesome food in the casinos for nearly nothing. They make their money on the gambling not on the restaurants. So it it’s a great place to eat and perfectly fine for children. We got used to it.
Then came an even better assignment. We got orders to go to Germany. Germany is like fairy land. The little fairy land villages in the valleys between the high hills or some might call them mountains, were adorable. The first year was great! We met a couple who really knew how get a poor little family to tour Germany and even France and Paris. We ate out of the back of our station wagon, or “Yank Tank” as the Germans called it.
But disaster was looming! I went into heart failure again! I could not handle it very well this time, I have to tell you. I panicked. My children were older they were in grade school Stacy was in junior high. I thought I’m not going to see my children grow up. This is a more severe form. had a pericarditis as well as myocarditis. It’s going to take a while for me to get well, if I get well. Pericarditis required surgery. Again, a multitude of doctors were called in to look me over. I was at Wiesbaden Air Play’s hospital. The hostages from Iran were there at that time too. Yellow ribbons or still strung all over the hospital.
We did not have very much money. And I really needed to work but that was not going to happen. One night I cried in the my pillow all night long. Yes I know I’m not supposed to do that. I’m the chaplains wife I’m supposed to be spiritually mature. Well I wasn’t, OK and sometime when you go through a disaster you’re not going to be OK? You’re not going to go through it well, you’re not gonna have faith that God loves you. It gives me me tears to my eyes and chills just think about that time and how much God loved me and I’ll tell you how I know because of all the prayer the people of the chapel sent out to God for me. And prayer makes the difference! Believe me, you must get people praying for you. We’ll talk about that in the next blog. There are many people in the Bible who panicked just like I did and acted just like I did. One of the main ones was king David he wrote the Psalms. you’ll see a pattern in the Psalms. Not only king David but a fellow named Assaph and others that are anonymous and wrote Psalms. The pattern is to gripe and complain and lay out their complaints before God. Then when the complaints just seem to pile up and get worse and worse all at once you see the Psalmist praising God and thanking God and having a grateful heart. I always thought this was most peculiar. Until I experienced it myself. In the middle of my crying all night somewhere towards dawn I began to see how God was taking care of things and I began to get a grateful heart. I began to think God for all of His LOVE, friends, blessings, music and all of and His grace. Oh! Grace! That’s undeserved favor of God. God giving me something I don’t deserve at all!
There’s a trick to this though. You have to have had a lot of time in the word of God for this to really work well. You have to have spent a lot of time in that little closet we talked about being in the presence of God. Talking to Jesus. That time so well spent because of the disaster like the storms and your resources are a few for whatever reason that time in the word of God will come through those promises will come to you by the power of the Holy Spirit. But even so, this may be the first time Jesus comes really close to you.
This is how you grow by leaps and bounds! This is how you grow up fast! God shows his ways. It’s thrilling and it’s wonderful. You begin to want to know more of God and how this works.
I urge you to start reading the Psalms from the beginning or the middle the psalms are not organized like Genesis or the gospels they’re just they’re written by the Psalmist in no particular order. But they are so helpful when you’re in disaster mode. And you know then if you’ve read them over and over even if it’s just your favorite ones, it comes to your mind, it comes to your heart it comes to your spirit.
God, deliver me.
Hurry to help me, Lord!
Let those who seek my life
be disgraced and confounded;
let those who wish me harm
be driven back and humiliated.
Let those who say, “Aha, aha!”
retreat because of their shame.
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
let those who love Your salvation
continually say, “God is great!”
I am afflicted and needy;
hurry to me, God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Lord, do not delay.
LINKS TO PSALMS
Remember! The Bible is the word of God! God wants to talk to you. God wants to speak to your heart. God want your spirit to grow. That will not happen if you’re not in his Word and spending time with Him in that inner room.
Positive psychology research shows gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. (Harvard Health Institute)
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Stay tuned to the Holy Spirit.