Summary: Listening and relying on the Lord in every day life.
In my life I have shared in the past that I was an infantry soldier. If there is one thing I have not forgotten is the sound of my first squad leader’s voice from active duty. He was from the Philippines and he had an accent to match that background.
He would say Fosta… what you doing Fosta… get ova hea and clean dat wepon! Fosta you call dat clean. Go back and clean some moa! So I would spend hours cleaning that weapon and man it sometimes took all day and I was already tired from the training we had done with that weapon and all I wanted to do was relax. But you know what, over time I got really good at cleaning that weapon. I could clean others weapons just as well. I carried an M203 with a grenade launcher attached under the barrel. I could put a HE round in a window from 75 meters away. I was trained very well and did the best I could always.
Well I didn’t know it, but eventually the call came for action. I was called up on the morning of Dec. 20th 1989 to go to Panama, South America for the invasion called Operation Just Cause. We were going to overtake the dictator Noriega who was not a very good leader. I remember landing in the main airport in Panama and it was all shot up from the initial wave of Army Rangers and 82nd Airborne Division. As soon as it was secure our C-130 airplanes landed on the runway and others in the area and thousands of troops were right behind us.
The story I want to share with you this morning from Genesis 22 is very similar to a situation that I had during the Invasion in Panama. We were lined up to do missions with Army Special Forces and our job was security to pick up known terrorists and drug cartels in the country. Well we received a mission to go pick up a very bad man who was known to have guns and drugs so we had two Special Forces soldiers attached to our squad to accomplish the mission. We were told it was pretty far into the jungle and we were going to go in, in the evening to use the element of surprise to our advantage.
It was in fact as described when we headed to this man’s location which was also his home residence. We got there and searched the premises but no one was home. The Special Forces soldiers shared with us that this didn’t mean he wasn’t hiding so we were to be very cautious as we left.
Well my squad leader designated me to be the trail gunner as we left and I counted guys as the guys were coming out of the jungle. I remember it was pitch dark and as I did a head count I was one short. And no one was there. So I was just sitting there waiting wondering what was going on as there should be one more.
It seemed like an eternity and I starting thinking something was wrong and how possibly this guy could have taken out our last guy. Then I thought… I am pretty much alone as the squad had already advanced up the trail behind me going back to our hummer. And I was there waiting…
I am glad that I listened to that small voice in my heart telling me not to fire. It was intense and I could have died that night in the jungle and so could my fellow soldier.