Only God Knows Why - Faith & Fate - Twists & Timing - No luck, chance or coincidence.
Originally Written 05/03/09
>Hello everyone, this writing is a bit different, it is very real, very true and really unusual. It's not about martians or aliens or anything "super natural", it is about Gods intent (not always understood), God's timing (often far different from ours) and Gods Grace & Guidance (always the purpose).
>As a kid growing up I knew that my dad was a veteran, he'd served in Korea in the USMC and had gone in at 17. Honestly thats about all I knew, as I got a bit older and got into army men and playing army with the kids in the 'hood I began to ask questions about his experiences in the military. I never got any, he opted not to want to talk about it. For years I assumed that Korea must have gone like Vietnam had, you often here of the experiences of soldiers having to kill children to protect theselves from bombs etc. So I left it at that.
>As the years went by I asked different family members, because I'm a curious type, including my mom, no one knew of his experiences, he'd told them the same, he'd rather not discuss it. Over the years my dad belonged to many post-military organizations, such as the VFW & American Legion, after his passing and in talking to some of his very close friends, I found that he'd never told any of them either, this struck me as "odd", as surely they'd understand whatever he had experienced.It began to look as though I'd never know.
>More recently in my own life I've felt a calling, one that I can't fully explain, I feel like God has a specific plan for me, a very set purpose, one that I've perhaps avoided or missed for years now. Let me clarify, all my life I've believed in God, can't remember ever not believing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'd always followed His laws and commands, but I believed. Why have I always believed? I don't really know, it wasn't instilled into me by my family, somehow I just knew. Perhaps it had to do with being born 2 weeks late and going into an incubator, perhaps it was being born to a couple married 13 years that couldn't have kids. Or maybe it was all the times that my life should have been taken from accidents, mistakes, illness and medical problems. I had one Dr that nicknamed me the "cat man" symbolizing 9 lives, the thing is I've exceeded the 9. I've often asked myself, why? Why has God kept me here, what am I to do? theres got to be a better reason than anything I've accomplished to date.
>This "pull" I feel began in '03 or '04, it was a "quit your job and make some changes" thing, but I didn't do it, I didn't have the faith. You see I'd look for a new job, but either it didn't pay enough or just didn't seem right, the thing was I didn't feel like it was "find then quit", it felt like "quit and I'll lead you" and I couldn't bring my self to do it. By '05 I was in the hospital and they weren't sure how to treat me as "technically" I couldn't be alive to begin with, I won't go into the whole thing here but I'll just say that my heart was incapable of keeping my body alive, yet it was. This got my attention, I'd always believed in Gods power, I had good Faith, I'd become a Christian in '92 and considered my self, based on lifes experiences to date - very full of Faith. This incident however REALLY opened my eyes to things.
>In '06 many things became clearer to me and I sensed & knew changes were comin., In '07 it happened and my wife and I ventured a different direction with me quitting my job finally and us starting our own business. We've certainly had our ups and downs with it in this economy, but were here. The thing is however when I throw the logical answers out the window things go better. Faith is rewarded.
>About a month ago I started "feeling" that there was a bit of family knowledge that I was missing, I don't know why but I felt it was from my mom, thinking that perhaps as I'd recently found out how badly she wanted a child after those 13 barren years, perhaps she'd asked God for a child and in turn commited him (me) to Gods use. I've known of others who've done this. Well before I could track down the only family member that might know that answer I got an email from someone.
>That someone is the gentleman that I replaced when hired at that job I mentioned above, this was back in '99, let me mention that my dad worked there too, and had for several years. This former co-worker of my dads had trained me for about a week before he had to move on to his new job, we got to know each other a little. We did manage over the years to keep in touch as he'd offered his "knowledge" of the task I'd undertaken from him, and I'd call once in awhile with a question. When he would be in town we'd try to get together and get lunch. I knew he'd always thought a lot of my dad, but we didn't talk to much about him, usually business, kids and Christ, as he too is a Chrisitian. What he wrote me about last month, as I was trying to figure out what this family "thing" was, that I was feeling, is the story that follows. I kid you not, the timing of this could not have been better. Aaron, the man who wrote this had never discussed it with me, figuring I already knew. Never realizing that one Fri night many years ago, God had blessed him, with someone telling him, a burden they'd carried for years, as easily as that. Aaron, all these years later, wanting to use this event as a backdrop for a ministry lesson, emailed me for permission to use my dads experience, never knowing that it'd be the first time I'd ever heard it.
And here is Aarons reporting of that night, hence the event / story.
~>I worked with a man who fought during the Korean War. Friday nights at the furniture store were slow. Our walk-in traffic usually slowed down after 5:30 PM. We stayed open until 7:00 and often had time to twiddle our fingers. On occasion, Ed would reminisce.
>I enjoy the stories the older generations tell. Their life long experiences, in some cases, have served me with foresight and truth. Their perspectives on life are usually very practical and have brought comfort and insight. Most are eager to hand down their lessons. I, in turn, am grateful for their understanding
>Ed was in his 70’s. He was working at the store just to keep busy. He had sold a couple of semi successful businesses in his life. While I would not have called him rich, he did not have to work. He was about 5’5 in height, slender build with thinned well groomed gray hair. Hansom features, clean shaven and glasses that made him look distinguished. He spoke with a slight New Yorker accent that gave him a tough presence. While he was quiet, he was not shy. He had an opinion if he was asked, and sometimes, even if you didn’t ask. Physically he was in good shape but his wife was fighting a loosing battle with cancer. Even so, Ed never seemed to get “Worked up”. His nature was very solid and predictable. As Credit Manager, I had often found his counsel in dealing with people helpful.
>Most Men Ed’s age spent time in the military. I find that it is a good topic in which to pass the time. This particular evening we had stumbled onto this very subject. It seems he had been haunted by a “Why” Question for all of his adult life. His question was “Why not me?”
>According to Ed, he and several of his buddies had joined the Marines at the same time. As it happened, they trained together and were shipped to Korea in the same unit. After some time passed, they found themselves in the middle of an ugly war along way from home. On this day however, He and they were standing at leisure, chatting about nothing. For no particular reason, Ed walked away deciding to go inside. At the very moment he entered the safety of the bunker a few feet away, an incoming shell hit the very spot they were standing and killed all in the unsuspecting group. He had missed death by seconds.
>As he relayed the story to me, he had obviously come to terms with the incident. There was no huge show of emotion. He expressed regret for their loss and honor for their sacrifice. After a brief moment of silent reflection, he said to me, “You know Aaron; I have always wondered why God allowed me to remain. I am 70+ years old and……” He took a moment to share with me some of what he considered to be the highlights in his life. In the end, he did not feel as though he had achieved anything that merited his life being spared over the others. He felt that they could have done better given the chance. His conclusion of the matter was very simple. ”Only God knows”
Only God Knows!
>I am reminded by his answer that God is all knowing. This means he knows everything! Pardon me for being redundant, but that means he also knows the answers to “Why?” and “What if?” God, the creator of all time, past, present, and future knows what is going on. He has the big picture. I believe that what is, is what must be. His plan is bigger than my understanding of the universe. I am permitted to know only what He needs me to know. I personally find comfort in this. You see I have learned to trust his judgment over mine even when I don’t understand.
>I'd like to thank Aaron for sharing this and letting me share this as well, folks, Only God Knows Why! Just do what he asks, don't question Him, he's got a reason. My personal hope, is that ALL these years later my dad, because of my "Father" was able to impart possibly the best advice I'd ever heard from him, at just the right time, when I really needed to know it, and being as it came through the way it did, WOW! God is good - All the Time, serve Him all your days, in all your ways. Faithfully trust Him-He knows