My oldest son, Cole, is in Marine boot camp right now. Actually he is in the middle of the Crucible, and my mind is going crazy. I am trying to remember him in prayer at all hours of the day and night without letting my thoughts lead to worry…
and the worry lead to impatience…
and the impatience lead to “what ifs”…
and the “what ifs” lead to panic.
I thought back to October of last year when he first told me that he wanted to join the Marines. He didn’t talk about the benefits or the pay. He said he wanted the brotherhood, the character development, the challenge. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted my son in the military, so I asked God about it. He gave me peace and the impression that this would be the very best thing for Cole. Pretty soon I was feeling that joining the Marines would be the most important step for him to take after High School. I had been praying for a long time that Cole would find a positive focus for all of his teenage energy. Finally he had found it!
As a mom, I can worry about absolutely anything! So my son had made the very wise choice to pursue a career in the Marines. But what if his enthusiasm waned? What if he got in trouble and became disqualified? Boot camp was a year away. What if he didn’t make it there?!
On October 28, 2017 the worries were getting the better of me. It was the Saturday morning of his very first Marine work-out. One of the stipulations of the delayed entry program was that Cole had go to the recruiting office once a week to prepare physically and mentally. A recruiter was going to pick him up early that morning to take him to the work-out. I had to leave even earlier to make a trip to the farm. There was dew on all the blades of grass and all the colorful leaves. The sunlight peaking over the horizon was like white gold glittering on every water droplet.
I wanted to enjoy the beautiful drive and the peaceful time alone…but I was feeling guilty and worried. Cole was NOT a morning person. What if he didn’t get up in time for the workout? I should have stayed at home to make sure that he did! What if he wasn’t serious about this Marine thing? What if all God’s plans for his future got derailed?
A song on the radio washed over my mind with the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Death could not hold you, the veil tore before you.
You silenced the boast of sin and grave.
The heavens are roaring, the praise of your glory.
Yours is the name above all names.”
The worries were replace by a picture of Jesus on the cross, conquering death and sin, then rising again victorious, becoming the Savior of the world. I saw the Good Father allowing His beloved son to come into this world that did not love or receive Him. All of hell was working against Jesus and much of the earth and mankind as well. A million different things could have gone wrong. Countless roadblocks stood in the path for Jesus to become all He was destined to be, to accomplish all He was meant to accomplish.
Yet the Good Father was able to keep Jesus and guide Him perfectly. He could do the same with my children.
“You mean I really don’t have to feel responsible for making sure my children achieve their purpose here on the earth? That I could really just trust you to do it?” I asked God, trying to let go of years of ingrained thought patterns that always led to worry.
“You know that you never could, no matter how hard you tried. That is why you worry. That burden is not for you to carry. Just trust me,” came the whispered answer.
When I arrived back home, Cole had already left for his workout. I didn’t need to worry!
Now he is almost done with boot camp, just hours away from becoming a Marine. I didn’t need to worry. But I still did. About EVERY little thing over the past year. I decided that I had to remind myself of all God had spoken to me.
When I went back and read my journal entry for October 28, 2017, this is what I had written.
“You are the Good Father who puts his children in this world and then brings them through the crucible victorious.”
I had written that before I knew anything about the Marines. Long before I understood that they had the toughest and longest boot camp out there. Before I had any idea that the culminating event of Marine boot camp was called The Crucible; 54 hours packed with missions to accomplish, obstacles to overcome, 45 miles to be hiked, and very little sleep or food to be had.
I had been prophesying and I didn’t even know it!
So as I am imagining every possible thing that could go wrong with Cole out there in the rain and the cold and dark of The Crucible, I chose to remember;
I can trust the Good Father with Cole and his destiny.
God will bring him through The Crucible Victorious!