Sunday, April 21, 2019

Do you know the worth of your vehicle?

Are you worthy?

Wounded Times and PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 21, 2019

(cross post today)

Today is Easter. The day of a life rising from the dead. A life given, so that others may live and be made worthy by faith in Jesus.

The night before, the people who heard the voice of Jesus must have been wondering why they thought He was telling the truth, when His life ended the way it did. They must have been crushed.

Yet the truth was known by a cave left empty and all He said was once again believed.

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
Albert Einstein

He died for others, but He also lived for others. He did not just come to die and rise, but to lift us up and know, that we were loved. God knew we were here and in need of help, as much as we were in need of hope.

Jesus did what He was sent to do. Did you? So many times we think maybe we were wrong about what we were sent here to do. We appear to be failures to others, yet, no matter what others think, we rise and do it all over again.

If you are struggling between what other say you should do, and what you know you need to do, I have something that may help encourage you to stay true to what you were created for.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
I made the choice to follow where I was being led. I knew it would not be easy, but I did not know it would be so damn hard.

When I was training to be a Chaplain with the IFOC, David Vorce said that Satan was busy when we run up into road blocks. I just never thought those road blocks would be laid by people who were supposed to be "friends" of mine.

While I left the IFOC, I have not left the mission that I was prepared to do. I focused on first responders and veterans. I still do. After 37 years, it is in my DNA, so there is no getting away from it.

A few years ago, someone I thought was a friend, stood up during a large gathering after one of the members had committed suicide. She made this announcement. "22 veterans a day are committing suicide and I'm gonna do something about it."

It was almost as if she just woke up one day and decided that she suddenly had the power to do what I had been doing for over 3 decades. You know, like I had done nothing. Sick to my stomach, I could not even listen to the rest of what she had to say.

What I did hear, was an impassioned plea from one of the other members. "Please stop talking about it. It hurts my heart." She was a friend of the member who took his own life.

Well that caused the woman to become enraged and she snapped back at the grieving friend.

I drove home in tears. I couldn't figure out why that "friend" had not just dismissed my work, but pretended I was not even worthy of her learning anything from me.

The next day, I called the President of Point Man, Dana Morgan, and told him what happened. My heart was being ripped out, my ego was so beaten down that I doubted all the work I had done, but the worst thing was, my soul was so crushed, I was not sure if I was supposed to keep doing it or not.

It was hard enough to fight this battle, mostly alone, but it had been one betrayal too many for me.

Dana said he would ask the other leaders of Point Man to pray that I find the answer.

The next morning I felt a little better but, still unsure, I asked my boss at work if she would have her prayer group help me find the answer.

As I was talking about my own pain, I cried. When she started to ask me questions about veterans, I stopped crying. When I explained to her how they can go from being willing to die for the sake of others, to not wanting to be here anymore, that soul crushing feeling started to lift.

By the time I got home, the weight was gone.

I called Dana and told him that I had my answer. Thinking about myself, caused me great emotional pain. Doubt caused by someone else left me believing I was wrong to even try. Doing what I had done for so many years, filled me with peace. I knew that whatever would come, would be OK, because as long as I knew what God wanted of me, I could deal with it.

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called." Ephesians 4:1
Dana asked me if I told my boss yet. I told him I would in the morning.

When she came in, I started to explain what happened, but she started laughing. The look of puzzlement must have been clear because she responded. "You don't get it. As soon as you started talking yesterday, I started praying."

I got my answer. No matter what comes, I know I am doing what I am supposed to do. While it would be so much easier to receive more help than I am getting, it does not stop me from doing it.

Maybe the lack of help I receive is so that I can share this extra burden with those who are going through the same type of thing.

It is really hard to see so many others beating their own chest and getting attention for a bunch or words that mean absolutely nothing.  They are all about themselves and not the cause they claim to be invested in.

When the end result is a worse situation for those they claim to want to help, it is then others figure out that they came to this "ministry" unarmed and their foolish ways were discovered.

Well, a few days after that encounter with the woman who almost made me give up, a younger veteran was struggling. He needed my help. I gave it and he started to heal.

Another veteran needed help. A wife of a veteran needed help. A wife of a firefighter needed help. More and more needed help and I was able to be there because people were praying for me and the mission I was put into position to do.

I am doing what I can with what help I have been given. Sure, I get upset knowing I could be doing so much more if I did receive help but that is not the reality I live with. 

We understand that it is hard to go without help, so we understand those seeking it from us. I know the worth of my vehicle even though others think it is a worn out antique.

We know what it is like to find the courage to ask for help, as well as, what it is like to not often find it for ourselves. We know what hardships and struggles are, what doubt feels like and above all, we know what would comfort us, what words would help us find relief.

That is the lesson I have a hard time remembering during times such as this, but I've been on this road to long now, that I can also remember what it was like when someone did show up to help me out, offer comforting words, or let me know I was there when they needed someone the most.

Know that whatever you do, you are doing if for the right reasons and the price you pay, helps you do it far better than if you had it all handed to you on a silver platter.

Any crown I've ever worn
I lay it down
Any praise I've ever gained
I give it all to You
For there's nothing in this world
That can compare
For You alone are worthy
You alone are worthy
You are near to all who call
Upon Your name
Ever giving, ever loving
You remain the same
For You open up Your hands
And satisfy
I give You all the glory
Give You all the glory
You are worthy oh Lord
Of all honor
You are worthy to receive
All praise
In Your presence I live
And with all I have to give
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
Songwriters: Darlene Joyce Zschech You Are Worthy lyrics © Music Services, Inc

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