The ride in the Craven family this last week has been definitely been eventful. Jessica made arrangements to go to Berlin as soon as all the festivities were over here on Post. Wednesday, my responsibilities were to bring the Post-wide Protestant service sermon (pretty exciting). Nothing gigantic, but enough to cause the normal day in day out stress.
Now, in addition to all of this, I had been told back in September that my name had been put into a selection pot for a job in Arlington Cemetery. I would be working for the OLD GUARD, a great honor in the Chaplain Corp. This new job, would mean...1. leaving 1 year early from Germany, and 2. Possibly miss a soon coming deployment to Afghanistan.
About 4:06 on Tuesday, I received the email, informing me that I was not selected for the job. My heart sunk...hours later,...I told Jessica, who seemed to know the moment I gave the 'Hey, sweetheart,...I need to tell you something.' Our long term goals were shocked, but we weren't destroyed.
Let me explain.
If you merely go back a couple of blogs, you will see that God was truly changing some things around our home. Jessica was and still is growing strong in her love for the Lord. Her daily readings were spot-on. Her prayers before dinner were not, 'let's eat!', they were genuine. (I detest short thoughtless prayers before a meal) ((Even those I must do for my job, I pray never turn into 'print and pray'))
Anywho,...on top of her growth, the night that this information came...i sat with my sermon and realized that everyone who was sitting in the congregation Wednesday, didn't necessarily need to hear it...I DID. I needed to preach to me. I needed to hear this and believe even what I was saying. Here is the outline:
1. Famine/Locust will come, but have Hope God is there.
2. Only God can restore with Rain, fully.
3. See everything as a blessing and means for thanksgiving, and at the root of these is God's Grace.
I was in my office just hours before the sermon would be preached, and reading through just POINT ONE, and Psalms 23 (a supportive verse) floored me.
"Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME!"
Jessica and I are humbled by the call of God in our lives often. We have disappointments. We cry together in our kitchen too. But, praise be to God, when we sit on our couch to circle around our scratched up coffee table to eat dinner or lunch, I hear prayers that echo 'deep joy' knowing that all things work together for good for those who love God, and are CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.
The Bottomline: We will sustain, not because we are Christians, but because Christ's plan will not fail.