Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Gen 2:7 NAS)
Frankly, life is nothing without God. I am not speaking figuratively, although one could speak of God’s importance to life in that way as well. No, I am talking about literally, life is nothing without God. Without Him it never was; without Him life never would have happened. Yet, even with that breath of life from the creator, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords we still find a way to be physically present, but absent mentally, and spiritually. In the age of smartphones, Facebook, video games, Netflix, and things like it, we seem lost in this world of escapism. Seeking to remove ourselves from the figurative “dead” existence that we live.
The reality is that we are NOT dead. As long as we are still moving about we have a purpose for being here; no matter how significant or insignificant you feel you are. As a created being you were not made for just mere mundane existence. With Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to break through any barriers to our successes in life. Certainly challenges can come to any of us, no matter how dedicated we are to God. My life, since leaving the military in 2013 has been challenging. By far not the greatest challenges that one can face, but challenging nonetheless. However, I know looking back on these past four years that God was always right there beside me. When I was in the military as an enlisted Airman, I unfortunately had to witness a dead Soldier coming through our compound. I can still remember vividly the image of his lifeless body, with blood dripping from his legs. Knowing that there was nothing I could do at that point to help save this Soldier was heart wrenching. Here is the deal though, I have had to come to the realization that there are Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines who have been through far worse then I have. That is the very short story of what happened on one of my deployments, and so there is more to it then what I shared, but it is still a far cry from what most military veterans have endured. However, when it is “your” pain, you can get kind of prideful with it almost. This feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and depression can quickly overcome you. Feeling sorry for yourself does not seem too far to grasp. After I got out of the military I sunk even further into this black hole of despair. Quickly adopting an attitude and emotion like that I was the only one that pain, and loss had happened to I was able to fade into a “dead” existence.
When I first got out of the military the “plan” was to get out, finish my undergraduate, get enrolled in a Masters of Divinity program and then apply for the Air Force Chaplain Candidate program. However, that did not happen on the path I thought it would. Instead, I had to go through the valleys of despair to get here. Not because of God, but because of me. God is NOT the source of our pain. Evil is. We are. God is not. With those valleys and detours God can make a beautiful redemptive story that leaves one only being able to give honor and glory to Him. Now here I sit in May of 2017, and by the looks of it by this time next year I will finally be finished with my undergraduate, and enrolled by the Fall of 2018 in the Masters of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Additionally, if all goes as “planned” then I will also be in the Chaplain Candidate program by next fall.
If a pulse meter could have been placed on my soul during the past several years, it would have been flat lined. The devil would love for you and I to believe that our souls are flat lined. However, I am here to tell you today that you and I are NOT dead. We still have a purpose. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords created you for a purpose. He has a plan for you. Have you sought out His plan for your life? God can do amazing things when we let Him control our destiny. He is pretty good at those things. I have great hope today, but not because of anything I have done, but because of being reminded of the things God has done. You see, I am NOT, you are NOT dead because HE LIVES. That is beautiful