…the military is one institution the Lord uses to meet the needs of some people. If you are reading this, chances are God is using the military to meet your needs
And the word of the LORD came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:2b-6)
While many of the basic trainees continually complained to the chaplain about the schedule and living conditions, one of the new recruits seemed happy all the time. He told my husband: “I can’t remember when someone cooked me three hot meals a day! And the shoes they issued me are the first pair of brand new shoes I’ve ever had in my life!” The Army met his needs and he was content. His attitude was refreshing!
Elijah prophesied boldly to the wicked king of Israel: “There shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word” (1 Kings 17:1b). His message was blunt, brief, and confident. The gods King Ahab worshipped represented nonsense and Elijah came on the scene to make known that the one true God tolerated no rival.1
Following this encounter, the Lord told Elijah to leave the area and move for a time to an isolated spot by a brook. There God protected Elijah from the wrath of the king, and he prepared him for what was to come. There is no record of Elijah questioning God about the orders, but who could blame him if he did?
When asked to share his best PCS advice, my friend Brian mischievously said, “Go kicking and screaming!” That has been me on more than one occasion. That would have been me if God had told me to go live by a brook that only flowed in the rainy season with the promise that untamed ravens would bring me food. It would take much restraint not to ask, “Seriously, Lord?”
Thankfully, Elijah was better at obeying God than I would have been, because he did as God instructed. Beside that brook, God met all of Elijah’s basic needs. You know, the Lord used ravens to feed Elijah and he has used Uncle Sam to feed my family and me. Sure, God can use General Motors, Wal-Mart, or any other company to provide for a family, but the military is one institution the Lord uses to meet the needs of some people. If you are reading this, chances are God is using the military to meet your needs.
Next time I move, I am confident the Lord will provide a place to live, food to eat, and if I need them, I can even buy myself a new pair of shoes!
How has God used the military to meet your needs? Take some time to list the ways you and your family’s needs are met by the military.
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, thank you for meeting my needs through my husband’s military service. Forgive me when I express more complaints than gratitude. Remind me of the blessings that are mine and make me truly grateful. Amen.
1 Max Anders, Gary Inrig, Holman Old Testament Commentary: 1&2 Kings (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2003), 134.