Article by Pastor Scott Stevens,
US Army and Disabled Veteran
When I first came into the military in 1990, fresh out of high school, I was a tennis all-star and academically at the top of my class in FL, yet I was without a direction or purpose in life. An Army recruiter appealed to me to go into the US Army to get into better shape for college tennis, to make money and to use the GI College Fund to help me pay for college and my dream was to play Tennis at the next level.
As I entered the Basic Training at Fort Dix, NJ in at the end of Fall of 1990, everything was going as planned. I was maxing out in my PT Tests, impressing the Drill Sargent as a Squad Leader, and had the respect of my peers as I was always out in front every march, run and during drills. Yet, early into our training and as I entered AIT, as a Tank Mechanic, we got news that Desert Storm and the Gulf War was beginning to take shape.
Our training shifted from Basic to training for War. I had a choice to step-up to this new challenge or to fold under pressure. To add to the mental stress, my mother, who was only 45 years old, went into the hospital with a Brain Aneurysm and within 3 days, just as I got orders from Red Cross to return to FL, she died.
Now, I was all alone, she was my sole source of love and support, as my Dad had a new family and my older brother was married with 2 young kids. As I stayed to bury my mother, my unit was deployed with a Calvary Unit from TX on their way into Kuwait, Iraqi. I was now left with a choice, Who am I? What do I do now? And What are my next steps in life?
As I returned to training and my unit at APG, I was introduced to a godly man and Chaplain Captain May. He not only counseled me but introduced me to God and I began my person relationship with Jesus. Chaplain May showed me a God that loved me and cared for me.
I read in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcame the world.”
My first step was to embrace that peace and realize that I am not in control. I found comfort in a personal relationship with Jesus and found comfort in God’s words, Psalms 121: 1-2 states “I lift up my eyes to the Hills (mountain or Heavens) where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heave and earth”.
As I progressed and matured in Christ and in life, the Lord has always seen me through, provided me comfort and given me a purpose and plan in life. Shortly after, I was able to reconnect with my Unit and military friends after Desert Storm conflict.
With my new purpose and peace, I was able to communicate with other soldiers about how their life can be different in Christ. Many times, I was able to counsel and comfort those who were hurting.
Matthew 11:29 promises us “take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”
How do you handle changes or detours in life? Your plans will need to be changed, adjusted and adapted to when storms and struggles in life comes your way.
The difference between a believer and a nonbeliever is WHO is with you when storms rage, and change comes into your life. Being a Christian does not mean you will be immune from life’s stressors or tragedies; it just means you will never be alone. Jesus said in John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless (desolate): I will come to you.” And when He comes to you, you will find peace.
My prayer for you is to stop trying to “figure things out” in life, trust God and do not lean to your own understanding, but trust God in everything – Proverbs 3:5-6.
Let me pray for you: Dear Lord, help the one who is reading this. Help them stop running away from Your call and purpose in life. Let them turn away from their sinful thoughts, actions and ways and help them experience Your peace.
Thank you, Lord, for coming into their life, for dying for their sins and giving them a new heart and home. Lord, when we find things not going our way, help us come to You and find rest for our weary soul.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Reach out to me… I would love to hear your military story and your decision to follow Christ, or just to talk about any questions you may have? Blessings. PastorStevens@aol.com.
Read more articles from VOM Magazine here: https://www.veteransoutreachministries.org/vom-magazine/