Berean Blog

Random thoughts from a Doulos Theos (servant of God)

Location: Rocky Point, North Carolina, United States

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I've been thinking about an incident I endured in 29 Palms, California in the early nineties. I flew from Camp Lejeune to "the Stumps" for advanced training at Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School (MCCES). A group of us arrived late at night into Palm Springs, then were bussed to our destination, where we received billeting and finally got to bed at about 2 A.M.

We awoke at about six o'clock to begin the process of "checking in", a method of taking a photocopied sign sheet to each segment of the command in order for our inclusion into each database or file system (medical, dental, mailroom, etc.). MCCES is on a sprawling base, and since none of us had vehicles, we skipped breakfast to make better time.

By the time lunch was close at hand, we had walked a couple of miles in the California desert heat, with no food for hours and little sleep, and I was feeling a bit light-headed when we decided to make the medical department our last stop before getting some chow.

I was seated in a school desk chair (you know, the kind where a half-desk wraps around one side of a straight-backed chair) and had a Navy Corpsman with a broken arm come in to draw a vial of blood from me. Normally, getting blood drained from my arm isn't high on my must-do fun list, but as I watched this hapless sailor fumble around with the tourniquet band and needle I was becoming uneasy!

As I started getting queasy and began seeing small white spots of light in my field of vision, I was wondering if perhaps this was a bad idea. That was the last thing I knew until I felt a blunt pain from a hard blow to my chin; I had passed out and slid right out of the chair, stopped only by my face meeting the desk!

In immediate hindsight, I realized the lack of sleep and food, combined with the physical exertion and heat were just too much, even for a 25-year old Sergeant of Marines. I discovered that day that I was not invincible, after all!

I can apply that to current circumstance. I was recently contacted by an old friend (correction: a long-time friend!), who asked how I was handling all that was happening right now. To quote her (because I don't think she'll mind), I have quite a full plate.

I suppose I do -- I know there are others who have handled, and/or are handling much more. She (correctly) pegged my dear Dee as a major source of strength, but I would also have to testify to the strength that comes from other than human sources. Much as I learned over a decade ago, I have to come to terms with the fact that I am no more invincible than I was then.

Psalm 37:23-26 says:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth
him with his hand.
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen
the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

If that is true {and I know it is}, if I allow my Daddy to set the course, I must follow it, and let Him take care of the details. Behold, God is my helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. (Psalm 54:4) For he shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him that has no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
(Psalm 72:12-13)

Matthew chapter six is an excellent reflection for us in this time. Yeshua reminds us that we can behold the beauty of nature, knowing that Hashem provides for even the little birds and flowers, and challenges us to look beyond daily needs.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we
drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(Matthew 6:31-33)

Will I keep all of this in mind, even as Mike is still in the hospital showing little sign of improvement, I have no immediate signs of employment, and I'm not sure how next month's bills will be paid on time? I can only say I'll try to remember that I'm not invincible, and if I mind how I maintain life, He'll mind how we sustain life!

All of this is temporary. All of this won't matter soon. All of this will be further proof of His faithfulness, and I'll be saying:

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon
him in truth.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
(Psalm 145:18-21)


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