Encarta's dictionary defines serendipity as this: a natural gift for making useful discoveries by accident. I sort of disagree with that definition but to that in a moment. We just never know what each day holds. I was at my desk working away and at trying organize my messy world when a gentleman appeared at my door. He asked, "Is there a Chaplain around?" I said, "Right in front of you!" He asked if I had a moment and I agreed. He sat down on my couch and immediately began to cry. He was in his late 40's I suspect. Turns out he was retired from the Army and on this day had no where else to go. He's a carpenter and just drove onto Ft Jackson looking for some help.

He looked me square in the eye and said, "I'm feeling like killing myself" He shared his story with me, one of betrayal and pain and loss. Turns out he tried to kill himself three years ago and was in a coma for 10 days, but lived. His story was heartbreaking. I prayed to God, "Lord help me help this man, give me the right words here." We sat and chatted about our lives, God, mistakes, regret, pain and suffering.

I could tell he was hopeless, and I was worried that he would succeed in his desperation. But God had other ideas in mind. I shared with him my story and about how I had intended to kill myself on a number of occasions 20 years ago. I shared how if that had happened how different the world would be, no wife named Tammy, no kids named Tori and Jack. I thought about all the people that God had allowed me to help over the past 20 years. I thought that if I had pulled the trigger on my .357 in the spring of 1987 that I wouldn't be here helping this man today.

It was serendipitous. But I don't believe it was by accident at all. Our God is not only a loving God, but He is sovereign, He rules and reigns and He orders events. Long story short my new friend turned from his pain today and gave it to Jesus Christ. He left his failures with the Savior.
We prayed together and he is coming back to meet with me tomorrow and any day that he needs to. He promised me eye to eye that he wasn't going to hurt himself. I spoke with his girlfriend on the phone and she is taking care of him today. I heard him say this to her, "I going to be alright and I love you!"

There are a lot of what if's in life. If I had done this and if I had done that. Today I have no what if's. I was right where I was supposed to be, because God set it up that way. Getting out of bed this morning, I had no idea this would happen, but following God is anything but routine and and anything but boring. Now my new buddy has entered into that kind of life too. And this was a gift today, but it was no accident.


CPT Erica said…
I've had a lot of "goosebump" moments from stories you've told, but I could feel this one. Really feel it. I felt the power and the Spirit both, just alone from reading it. How honored I am to know you. I'll be praying for those Turkeys!
Serendipity or providence. When we are in God's hands, we are always in the right place at the right time! Way to Go!!!
Bryan Huff said…
This story reminds me of my own life. Just ten years ago I tried to kill myself. God allowed me to live, now I am about to become a father and a college graduate in a span of about two weeks. To God be the glory. I'll pray for this man and the future that God has planned for him.
Ken said…
Brad, you need to share this with our friend Ryan. He is at a similar place in his life.

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