LT Jonathan Gentry, CHC, USN, discusses the seemingly simple concept of trusting God, specifically within the context of Jonathan’s calling to the ministry and to the military. Since December 2020, Jonathan has been serving as a chaplain at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, but the Navy chaplaincy was not always on his radar.
A Georgia native and pastor’s kid, Jonathan wrestled with the same questions many high school graduates face: What should I do next? Where should I go? What career should I pursue? Based on his own love for theatre in high school, Jonathan chose to pursue a degree in theatre at the University of Memphis while also growing spiritually through leadership roles with his church and Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM).
Later in college, Jonathan realized the Lord was pulling him away from theatre studies toward ministry instead, leading him to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The years to follow were ones of trusting God and waiting on Him with decisions about education, vocation, and relationships. He reflects on past experiences where he can now retroactively see God’s hand at work and encourages other Christians in the military to trust Him in all things from job assignments to work dynamics to personal relationships.
Jonathan answered the call for podcast guests by completing the form on OCF’s “Be a Guest” webpage, and you are invited to do the same if you would like to share your own story. Alternatively, if you have an idea for a guest or topic that should be considered for a future episode of the show, send an email to [email protected].
As you listen to this conversation with Jonathan, here are a few questions to ponder in your personal time, with a small group, or with a mentor:
- Describe a time when you wrestled with discerning God’s calling for your life.
- What did you learn about God’s character through that experience?
- Where can you look back retroactively to see the Lord’s hand at work in circumstances you didn’t understand at the time?
- Jonathan describes a hard experience with a church that he “wouldn’t trade” because he can see how that prepared him for the Navy chaplaincy. What challenging but growing experience would you not trade?
- What does trusting God look like in a practical sense?
- What spiritual disciplines help you trust the Lord in all things?