Some 2,500 years after the time of the prophet Habakkuk, Lt Col Ron Bracy, USAF (Ret.), found himself asking the same question as the Old Testament prophet: “How long, O Lord, will I call and you will not hear me?” I first met Ron back in 2019, and soon after, interviewed him for this podcast. We had a great conversation as Ron unpacked how God used Habakkuk to help him through some very dark days after the death of his son, Todd. However, I recently learned that on August 11, 2021, Lt Col Bracy had died.
Ron graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and served 42 years in the Active, Reserve, and Guard components of the United States Air Force. Ron is a veteran of Vietnam with 183 combat reconnaissance missions, recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, 15 Air Medals, and other medals for outstanding military service. Ron also was an Air Force chaplain and was deployed throughout the “hotspots of the world” as he called them. His last active-duty assignment was at the Pentagon, where he was on duty the morning of the terror attacks on 9/11.
He also earned a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies and Ethics; taught at seminary, college, and secondary schools; was a pastor for 25 years; and is also the author of Walk On, a book that uses Habakkuk to go deeper on topics such as despair, faith, and praise.
In this episode, I want to share some of the conversation we had and tell you the story of Ron Bracy, and his journey through the valley of despair, and ultimately, how he reached the mountaintop of praise.
This is Ron’s story of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession. As you listen to his story, here are some questions to ponder.
- Read Habakkuk 1, where the prophet questions God about the lawlessness, wickedness, and the lack of justice surrounding him, and why God was not setting things right. Why does God allow us to see, even experience, iniquity and trouble in others? Or ourselves? Do those things lead you to God, or away from Him?
- Ron says that “every person who’s ever lived on this earth will deal with the issue of despair in their lives.” The death of his son on a training mission left him—a pastor—struggling for years: “My son was dead, and so was I.” In what ways has faith in Christ helped you cope with the despairs of life?
- Ponder this observation of Ron’s: “‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Honestly, how many of us are ‘still’ in our lives? We fill our day with activity, we can’t stand the silence. We fill our lives with things, we’re never still. How do we expect to hear God?” Is that a true statement for you? What is your remedy?
Ron’s book, Walk On, is still available at Amazon. To purchase a paper or digital copy, click below.