Wednesday, March 16, 2011

God Provides

As a Christian, God's provision is something I believe in. I was raised to trust in God to provide my needs. All to often we think this means God should give us this great job we want. Or He should give us this sweet car. Or He should help me win the lottery. (I promise God, I'll give a lot of it to people in need!) But God's provision doesn't mean any of those things. Do you need a huge house, a sports car or lots of money? If you do then I have to doubt your faith in God.

I believe any of us can examine our lives and see where God has been. See where He taken care of you in times of physical, spiritual and emotional need. I know I can.

Two months ago I drove over to San Antonio to see my friend Dustin graduate from Air Force BMT. I arrived at Lackland AFB just as they were praying at the start of the ceremony. There was a nice drizzle coming down but it wasn't too bothersome. The graduating flights were already set up on the parade grounds and there were several hundred soon to be Airman out there. All dressed alike. All the same hair cuts. All well out of range to identify. I found the "information" board, as I'll call it, and tried to locate my friends flight number. Is that last number a 7? Can't be, there aren't any ending in 7. Must be a 2, this handwriting is worse than mine. I still maintain that board did not have the correct squadron and flight numbers.

I watch the entire ceremony thinking several times I've spotted him but they can't wave back. At the end all of the flights parade in front of the grandstands. Ok, I think I know where he is. Nope, wrong again. Then they all line up again and the families are released to find their son or daughter. The Airman can't move until their families locate them. This is my chance. As all the families are reunited they begin getting on buses to head back to the BMT reception center. I stalk the buses to no avail.

Maybe I'll call him. Nope phone is turned off. I decide to walk over to the BMT so I head the direction the buses are traveling. The drizzle is a bit more persistent at this point and I realize I have no idea where this place is, could be a very long walk. I decide to go back to my car and drive. Hope there are signs. God, please help me find this kid. As I get back to the parking lot I really have to pee and there are restrooms there but for some reason I decide to wait until I get where I'm going. Trust me, this adds to the story.

I finally make it back to the BMT reception center and wander around for a bit trying to locate Dustin. God, please help me find this kid. I decided to finally relieve myself so I enter the restroom. As I'm waiting in line [I emphasize waiting in line so the next part is not weird] I look at the guy in front of me and he looks at me. We both look kind of amazed [see you would have thought that was weird if I had just said we were in the restroom] and he exclaims, "What are you doing here?" To which I reply, "Looking for you!" We waited to hug until we were outside.

Come to find out he was in the flight carrying the flags. The only flight to leave the parade grounds before the families were released. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that God takes care of the smaller things too. It wasn't going to do me any harm if I didn't find Dustin. [except the gas money] Sure it would have been a real bummer had I not been able to locate him but neither of us would have suffered greatly. Dustin would have just thought I pulled a no show. My pleas to God to help me find Dustin on a military base with thousands of people were sincere and He answered them. God knows our needs and he provides.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How do you love?

Love is often a word thrown around in today's society often leaving it an empty, hallow meaning. What comes into your mind when you think about the word 'love' often speaks to the condition of your soul. So how should we love? Probably one of the easiest ways to love is to show love through our actions.

This past summer I was able to have lunch with Grandpa and Grandma Marner. They weren't expecting me since mom had not told them if I was coming into town for sure. Of course Grandma was worried about not having food to feed me. (I think she still sees me as a growing boy and well, I may be, just not in the direction I would like.) I tried to reassure her the purpose of my visit was not to consume their food. I did eat lunch there and I did not leave hungry.

Often when you see someone for the last time you don't know it is the last. I wish I would have realized sooner in life how important time with loved ones is. I can say I always enjoyed family get togethers but that doesn't necessarily mean I always wanted to be there (or that I was there). If I learned so much in the time I spend with my grandparents how much more could have been learned? This particular example of love was especially wonderful to watch. The way Grandpa cared for her, helped her get around, helped her was a blessing to witness and undoubtedly loving. They joked with each other in their unmistakable humor, these are two of the wittiest people ever. I left there not knowing it would be my last normal visit to their house but I left there knowing their love.

How do you love?