Thursday, March 12, 2009

When God's help does not come, blame the one He sent

Papa Roy's daily devotional hit me especially hard today. My friend, Capt. Agnes "Irish" "Jackpot" Bresnahan passed away in Washington DC yesterday two days after going for yet another hearing on her VA claim. Aside from the loss of a very dear friend, I'm struggling with the fact that her years of constant battle with the VA to honor her claim, tirelessly fighting for other veterans, suffering physically and emotionally with PTSD, has ended without the justice she truly deserved.

When terrible things happen to us and we turn to God for help, that help all too often does not come. This happens to all of us. It seems especially unfair when we are fighting for others and suffering because of doing it. Read the devotional and then you'll understand what I have to say after.
Bring it to a Lord who cares

It wasn't any trivial miracle, it was the beauty of the simple Savior meeting man on the simplest level of his life and supplying his simplest need. Does that tell you something about Christ in your life as a Christian? He literally moves creation to supply the simplest need. Does Christ supply our food? (John MacArthur)

John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Jesus is tied to the events of your life. He is not just some remote supernatural being who is totally removed from our need. He cares about the smallest details of your life, and waits for you to call Him into our times of need so that He can minister to you. What is your need today? Salvation? Are you backslidden? Some burden? A bad situation? Some circumstances beyond your control, but not beyond your ability to worry over? Do as Mary did, bring it to a Lord who cares. Bring it to Jesus! (Alan Carr)

Pray for our nation

Give wisdom to our President & our leaders and bring your comforting peace through the power of your Holy Spirit. Help us here to reach to those that have been affected by tragedy.

In God we trust: Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!” (Psalm 70:4)

Papa Roy IFOC Chaplain

One last thought: Jesus worked a miracle because a few people knew the value of listening to Him intently and obeying Him explicitly. I want to be like those faithful few, don’t you?

There have been many times when I was in dire need of help. I prayed my heart out until I could find no more words to use. Strength to get thru it came, patience when I needed it, hope after I prayed replaced hopelessness but sooner or later all of that faded away as the help I waited for did not come.

For a long time I wondered where the promises made by God and Christ were in my time of need. The Bible is filled with loving, caring messages, but the Sermon on the Mount seemed the most promising. All I needed to do was ask God. After all, when we're in financial trouble, He could pile gold bricks on the floor with a simple wave of His hand if He wanted to. He could provide anything we needed if He wanted to but when it does not come, the usual route we take is to think that He doesn't want to help us and it must be because we are not worthy, He cannot hear us or He's testing us. But that is all limiting God instead of thinking beyond His hand and thinking about other people in this world.

As a Chaplain and helping veterans all these years, I missed the obvious. It's not that He does not care, cannot supply what we ask of Him or is ignoring us. It's more the people He's trying to send are ignoring Him. I am like many people on this earth and spend my days trying to help others simply because I know what it's like for them to feel alone and because it's the right thing to do according to what Christians are commanded to do. We are to treat our neighbor (other humans) as we would want to be treated. In other words, help them the way we would want to be helped. When someone is in need they pray to God for help and He turns to us to supply that help. He tries to use us to fulfill His promise but too often we do not act on it. We come up with excuses to not go and visit a friend in need or set aside time to just listen to someone when their heart is breaking. We find reasons to not do what He's trying to get us to do. There is a cycle in a chain that is broken when we do not listen and let Him lead the way.

Many times in my life I was pulled to do something. The older I got, the more I understood that if God wanted me to do something, He'd figure out a way for me to do it. Financially there were obstacles to travel most of the time. If He wanted me to take a trip, I put out the word that I needed help getting there and the money came to get me to where I was needed to go. In the process there was someone there in dire need of help. Most of the time it was not just the person I was sent to help but others involved in what was going on needing help as well. When I left, there were people aided by God thru me and then they in turn helped others after. All they had to do was listen to the still small voice inside of them guiding them and miracles happened.

I often wonder how many other people are just not listening to Him calling on them to help when they are able to but not willing to. How many times has He called on you to reach out your hand to someone? How many times has He asked you to share what you have, either financially or emotionally? How many times has He laid the burden of someone else at your feet and just walked over it? Feeling guilty? Welcome to my world because I'm just as guilty as you are on that point. I've done just that too often in my own life while I do my best now to listen. We all tend to focus too much on our own problems. That is especially true when millions of people are losing their jobs, veterans come home from combat wounded and there is so much suffering across the nation. It seems we are all asking God for something at the same time but nothing is happening.

What if you had an abundance of shoes without laces and someone didn't have enough shoes but had a stockpile of laces? If you do nothing, you're stuck with useless shoes and they are stuck with the laces. Now you could toss them in the trash or combine forces and then you have perfectly usable shoes for someone without any. This can be accomplished if you listen to God asking you to open your mouth and ask for what you need but listen to what someone else needs at the same time.
Irish spent her life taking care of and helping total strangers simply because they needed help. It's your turn now.

Originally donations were supposed to go to Irish's family but they must have changed their minds since the day I posted this. This is the information being sent out now.

Thank you for all of your condolences and outpouring of love.

Please rest assured that we have the necessary resources to bring Irish home.

Irish wanted donations to go to the Agent Orange Victims & Widows Support Network ( or Nam Guardian Angel(

Donating to these charities will honor her memory and help her good work to continue on.

The Bresnahan Family

Remember that if help does not come when you need it, it's not that God is not answering your prayers, but other people are not answering His call to help.

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