While waiting at the car wash, I picked up a copy of Newsweek because the front cover caught my attention. The lead article was entitled “The Military: Faith Under Fire.” I was curious because I now have a good friend who served as an army Chaplain for 20 years during the Viet Nam era and this article spoke of the challenges facing today’s chaplains in the current war on terror. It detailed the initial excitement of an Army chaplain as he followed God into this ministry, his deployment to Iraq, and his encounter with constant death and discouragement of both the soldiers and himself. He shares this passage as to where he is today with his faith: I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:1-2. David wrote these verses in the Psalms experiencing firsthand the fear, doubt, and frustration while pursued by an aggressive enemy, Saul. Yet, he knew that God would lift him out of the pit, mud, and mire to stand on firm ground. How many times do we struggle in our own circumstances? Where is God? How could this be happening to me? Will I survive? The young chaplain learned to be blunt with God and in that communication began taking steps back to real faith. We can do the same. God has not promised us a life without struggle, pain, death, or despair. We can even yell, scream, cry, and vent our anger with Him. Be assured that He will listen and has promised in Deuteronomy 6:31, The LORD your God will always be at your side, and he will never abandon you. (CEV) Whether the circumstances change or not, He is there to pick us up, scrape off the mud, give us a hug, and set our feet on the straight path. Be encouraged, my friend…and keep walking.
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