"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Its hot here! Its dry, dusty, arid, and any other descriptive term you can use. I was walking across the compound the other day saying "This place is devoid of life!" I could not have been more wrong. Did you know when the rains come in January in Kuwait the entire desert springs forth life? Flowers and green plants come popping up everywhere. It often seems that where there seems to be death that life is just waiting under the surface to explode. According to God's Word this is a spiritual fact as well. I have been experiencing in this land a bit spiritual dryness. I find myself as a Chaplain feeling marginalized and unimportant. its the nature of things in the military, no one thinks of the Chaplain until something bad happens.
Just when I thought there could be no life in this place, God showed up. I had my Pastor, Mack Jarvis pray for me as many of you do. I realized...again... that as Scripture teaches, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the wicked powers of this world. Its not people who are the enemy, its the system that sets itself up against God.
At breakfast, still feeling sorry for myself a young soldier in my unit asked me if I had a few minutes for him. As we sat and talked I found out that he is being sent to an area where enemy activity is at its highest and that he'll be going outside the wire on a regular basis. He had deep and profound questions about life and death, the taking of life and the losing of life.
We talked through breakfast, through a trip to the PX and then finally back to our tent. I took him to 1John 5:11-13 which speaks of the profound truth of "knowing" that we have eternal life when as John says it, we "have the Son". I could see in his eyes that God had established this time for this young man. And on a couple of sandbags outside our tent, in the 120 degree heat, in a dry and barren land, God poured out some living water. My young trooper confessed his need for Jesus and received the "life" that John told us about.
I sat for a minute dumbfounded....again....as God continually reminds me that He is in charge, that He can make a way even in the scorched land.
What an amazing ministry this is with soldiers, in the rough and tumble world of weapons, stark conditions, war, life and death God is still who He is and still reaching out, still dispensing grace and mercy.
Who knows what He will do today! I can't wait to see!
On an administrative note, my friends here, Mark and Travis and I are putting together a Podcast called, "Heart of a Soldier". It'll be a time of laughter and theological reflection (as best as we can do that!)
Be looking for it on here and on itunes!
Blessings from the sun scorched land!