Worrying or waiting?

by BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID WARNER, USAF (RET.)

Excitement was in the air as assignments were falling at Maxwell AFB. Unlike the others who were quite nervous about their futures lying in the hands of the personnel gods, I was feeling rather confident. For, months earlier I had the good fortune to meet the executive officer to the EUCOM J6 (an AF 2-star) and just knew that after meeting me I was a shoo-in for an opening on their staff. 

Having long awaited a chance to return to Germany, my birth country, the Warner clan was ecstatic. I had no doubt that my plan was the Lord’s plan for our family and was at peace. Not so fast…I was shocked to learn that my No. 1 choice went to another…not to fear, for my second choice was also at EUCOM. 

To my dismay, I learned that my crafty career manager had offered my name up to the folks at Mons, Belgium, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). My desires were now dashed. I was very confused and angry to discover that my fate too was in the hands of the “system.”  

Not one to take this sitting down, I quickly sought out the Lord…in my case, that would be Brig Gen Lance Lord, my former boss. As I made my way to see him, THE Lord caught hold of me and a true sense of peace came over me, telling me to sit down, I’ve got this! Turning around, I ran into General Lord and he informed me that he had just gotten off the phone with my future boss at SHAPE and had sung my praises about what a great fit I would be in my new position—so worrying wouldn’t have done me any good anyway.

Lori and I quickly went to our knees and thanked the Lord for His provision. Paul’s words to the Philippians in chapter 4, verses 6-7 rang true in our hearts:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Honestly, what we went through pales in comparison to what you endure every day. That said, we continued to cling to that verse. I was so quick to want to take control and take action—that’s my nature. What I have learned, many times the hard way, is to go to prayer and wait upon the Lord.

In December of last year, this verse once again took up a prominent place in our hearts and prayer life. After months of deciphering an abnormal blood test, I received a fateful call on Christmas Eve. The caring pathologist who did not want me to go through Christmas without knowing the results of my bone marrow biopsy pronounced that I was only one in a million to be diagnosed with a rare blood cancer: Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia. I once again heard His voice saying, “Rest easy, I’ve got this!” I’m doing well and the prognosis is good, but suffice it to say we clung heavily to Paul’s soothing words. We were also drawn to Matthew’s words in 6:27 and Isaiah’s words in 40:31:

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

To say we live in an uncertain world is a gross understatement. Life in general is complicated. Life in the military is extremely difficult and challenging and carries with it an increasing amount of angst with the operations tempo, separations, threats to life and limb, and the increasing challenges from within our own nation. Through it all we can take great comfort in knowing that our Lord and Savior has already achieved the victory for us—He has won! We are called to wait upon Him rather than worrying!

I again want to thank you for your faithful support of OCF, for your prayers, and for your perseverance as you face uncertainty with grace, courage, steadfastness, and a deep desire to serve Him. May you be filled with His peace, forgoing worry for the unsurpassed knowledge that comes through a deep understanding of His will for your lives. May you grow in your faith as you wait upon the Lord!

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