As a young man growing up in Petal, Mississippi my mother would sit down with her sons and instruct us in how to be good men. She used the guidelines set forth in Proverbs to ensure that we knew how to conduct ourselves, what kind of women would make good wives and how to pursue wisdom and knowledge. When I got old enough to read on my own, I discovered the book of Psalms. Little did I know how much of an impact this book would have on my life.
I joined the Army at 28 to out run the call of God on my life. I would have rather been shot and blown up than do what the Lord called me to do. No way am I going to be a minister! Eventually, my number was called to visit the Middle East. While I ran as fast as I could to escape the call, I always recalled some of my favorite verses in the Bible when things got rough. After the second Battle of Fallujah, I lay on my bed with hot tears of rage burning down my cheeks. Anger choked off the words in my throat, but my heart cried out, “Create in me a clean heart O’God and renew a right spirit within me.” I felt the sweetest presence of God in what could only be defined as a living hell. “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” The presence of Almighty God visited me that day, and I could feel angel wings wrap me in arms of love.
I may fail God daily but in some of the darkest moments of my life, God has been my ever-faithful friend. I hope that I can be found in good standing with my Savior when my number is called. “As the hart panteth after the brooks, so panteth my heart after thee.” In the end, the only thing that matters is hearing our Savior say well done.