Sunday, November 25, 2012

Do I trust God? Really...

I've been struggling with a particular issue lately and I'm focusing my devotional time to satisfying my struggle.  In fact I'm reading a book on my Kindle App on trusting God.  It's not earth shattering, but it's helpful.

Do I trust God?  I came across a quote from MLK, "Faith is taking the first step when can't see the rest of the stairs."  It's not an exact quote, but close enough.  I can say I trust God, but I'm put to the test when things don't go my way or when I don't get what I want.  This struggle stems from my struggle with prayer.  If God knows all, why pray?  Does He wait for His 'prayer warriors' to implore Him to respond and if so, why?  That doesn't seem 'godlike'.  It seems something I would do.  If my kids ask once, I tend to say no, but if they repeatedly ask or if all three ask, I tend to say yes.  Somehow that doesn't seem something God would do.  So I began praying God would reveal to me His plan and show me daily situations I can learn to trust His way and not insist on my way.  I feel better about praying that way...I suppose it's less disappointment.

But trusting God is quite difficult at times.  It seems to me that those who don't identify themselves as Christian but do identify themselves as spiritual suffer from the same concept...trusting God.  He just seems so random.  Some 'good' people suffer while 'bad' people prosper.  Natural disasters affect not only the non-Christians but Christians as well.  Does God punish?  If so, who?  Someone who dies at 47 because of cancer and leaves behind a wife, two kids and a grandson and from all appearance is a really great person, doesn't seem to make sense.  But someone who causes pain on others appears to prosper.  Honestly, because I don't understand and many others don't as well, God just doesn't make sense and it's hard to trust that God.  And it's quite difficult to share God's love because sometimes it seems so shallow.  So, what do I do?  How do I trust God when He just doesn't make sense?

I remember!  I reflect on my life and I remember how God has ALWAYS led me to the path that makes sense.  At the time, I wondered and when I reflect I can honestly say God didn't make sense.  Why didn't I get the job at Whitefish Police Department or Flathead County Sheriff's Office, but instead was a police officer at Columbia Falls Police Department?  A good department, but I wanted more.  Why did I suddenly feel as if I needed to resign and pursue the ministry?  Why did I struggle during seminary and then at my first congregation?  Because it seems God guided me to the Army Chaplaincy where I feel content that where I am, God wants me to be.  I remember all of those struggles and fully believe God is in control, He always does what's best (though sometimes I have to be patient and trust), and so long as I continue to reflect on my life and discern my mistakes and the struggles I create because of my own errors from God's discipline and correction, I feel I can trust God more and rely on myself less.

I can trust God if I seek Him on His terms and not on the God I create.  Mark Twain once said, "In the beginning God created man in His own image and ever since, man has tried to return the favor."  I must learn to trust the God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible and in my life and not create God to be who I expect Him to be.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lightning Storm

Shawn is big on photos so I thought I'd post a photo I took from a lightning storm we had a few months ago at Fort Bliss.  Pretty cool!  Odd that we had no rain.
Wow, haven't blogged in quite some time.  I looked at the photos and comments made and realized a lot has happened since my last entry.  Ok, so I'm trying to keep up with my blog because it has some healing effects with my soul.

Here's what's on my mind today.  We've had quite a lot of changes lately.  I deployed to FOB Shank in Afghanistan 11 September 2011 and returned 6 July 2012...10 months away from my family.  After I returned my son Christopher joined the Air Force and two months later he had to leave the Air Force because of a heart issue.  It appears he has a leaky valve or the valve doesn't close when it's supposed to.  His absence was very hard on me.  Shawn too, but I'll speak for myself.  I cried often, at least for a few days and then recovered.  Then when he told us he was getting out, another big change occurred...we had to deal with his return.  So, now it's Thanksgiving and we're waiting to see if we can get him added to our orders!

Another little miracle.  His appointment with EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) went better than expected.  The doctor at his appointment passed him along with no issues, which means it shouldn't be a problem getting him added to our orders, although we may have to adjust our flights.  We should be able to find this out the end of next week.  God is good!

We are scheduled to fly out to Wiesbaden Germany on 8 January, but with the unknown involving the 'Fiscal Cliff' our nation is facing because of possible budget cuts and tax breaks not being extended makes me nervous about our travel to Germany.  As of today we have 46 days until we leave plus Shawn and I drove to Dallas on Monday to have our vehicle shipped to Germany.  Add to that my security clearance going through and I have a lot of confidence we'll be in Germany in less than two months, but who knows with politics today.

Speaking of politics, I am so thankful the election is over.  Since the election I haven't watched news on TV so my mind is clear from the influence of both sides...such as Fox News and MSNBC both of which are heavily favored by either the Republican or Democrate party.  I feel as if I am able to make a clear decision as to what is right or wrong based on reason and the Bible because I'm not being 'brainwashed' by either side.  It feels freeing in a sense.

Enough for today!  Blessings to all.  Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We went to the Silva household...our neighbors on Fort Bliss.  They are a wonderful family.