Remember God’s Promise

Two weeks ago I visited the 50th state of our beautiful nation, Hawaii. In the weeks beforehand, I imagined lying on the beach sunbathing, reading ALL the books I never have time to read, and simply enjoying some much needed rest. Now, I’m honestly not much of a resting type of person. I really enjoy exploring, adventuring, and moving…especially in Hawaii. So, my daydreams about Hawaii were not realistic at all. God provided so much more than my daydreams could even imagine. Walking along the dog beach at Hickam Air Force Base as the waves gently rolled in, swimming with sea turtles, jumping into a mermaid cave to experience the tide rolling in and in the midst of the waves, finding the most perfect little blue/green conch shell the tide left behind just for me, viewing the surfing waves of the North Shore, following a rainbow to Kaneohe, and the sunset on Waikiki Beach are just a few of the blessings of Hawaii. During such a time as this in our world, a little Hawaii never hurt anybody, amen?

The most miraculous Hawaiian experiences were through the people I met, explored with, and friends I visited. One particular adventure surpassed all the other adventures in Hawaii. My friend, Penny Light, and I visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Of course, I’ve heard the Pearl Harbor stories my entire life in school, movies, and from grandparents. To actually view Pearl Harbor from the airplane, and then to set foot on the Memorial that sits on top of the USS Arizona completely overwhelms all of the feelings I’ve ever experienced. Later, Penny and I met Robert Lee, a very old man who actually assisted in the recovery efforts after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He enlisted afterwards and is, in fact, living history. He remembers watching the submarine, which now sits outside the Nimitz museum in Fredricksburg, TX, being attacked in Pearl Harbor. He gave us little flowers and signed our books which hold his memories of that awful, sacred day in Hawaii.

On Sunday, Penny and I visited the Daybreak church in Kailua where my Navy Chaplain friend Len and his family attend services. A portion of the service was dedicated to informing the church about the recent mission trip to the island of Tinian in the South Pacific. If you’ve never heard of this island, Google it, and learn about Tinian’s sorrowful history. It will break your heart. Currently, there is another struggle happening on this little island, and its 3,000 native peoples are once again caught in the middle of two powerful nations, the U.S. and China. The U.S. has had a military presence there since capturing the island from Japan during WWII and now has plans to create a more substantial base, and China wants to build casinos on the same land. The Tinian’s are against both nations, and simply want to recapture their culture of canoeing and fishing. There is a small Catholic presence on the island, but other than a church and school, the gospel is new, good news for the natives. As the missionaries and the preacher delivered their message to the Daybreak Church, I was struck by the open hearts, minds, and ears of a mostly U.S. military congregation. Even these people who are in service to our government are not living in the kingdom of the U.S.A., but in the kingdom of God on earth. Later that afternoon, Penny and I were telling Cole, Penny and Tom’s son, who serves in the Army about the presentation, and he said something that further opened my heart and mind. He explained that when people say the military exists to protect and defend our nation, he disagrees, because in his experience, the people who protect and defend our nation are the first responders – the Police, the Firefighters, and Paramedics. He then explained that when tragedy strikes somewhere, such as an earthquake in Haiti, that the military is the first on location to help. I don’t know about y’all, but this response is what the heart of our beloved nation is all about. Yes, we have freedoms to protect and defend here in the U.S., but the Big Picture of God, is one where our nation has the ability and the desire to bring justice and mercy to those suffering all over our world.

I did not expect to grow in Hawaii…I honestly expected to be awed by the beauty, and that’s it, but God is full of surprises. The rainbows drifting in and out of the misty clouds over the Jurassic World mountains reminded me of God’s promises and God’s faithfulness. There is so much worry, disappointment, and anger in our world, so it is up to us to remember the sacrifice, remember the past, and tell the stories that help us remain faithful and remember our promise to God.


Other Posts You Might Like:

What Drives Us? - Ross Thomson

What’s Your Story? - Ross Thomson

This is Christmas - Laurie Templeton

Let the Children Come - Chele Burnett

Kingdom Outpost - Casey McCollum

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