So we did. When Jesus called those fishermen turned disciples, the sea was their livelihood. That's all they knew. His call didn't include a promise of more lucrative ventures (at least not in the currency they knew) nor did they review a retirement plan (at least not the one they were imagining). They just followed two orders: drop what you know, and follow.
It's been a nail biter as we take this step of faith, and there were more than a a few times we looked at each other like we were loony. But now that the puzzle pieces are coming together (ask me about the perfection about God's timing) we're seeing a sweet picture that we couldn't have painted ourselves.
Today Todd receives his honorable discharge from the Navy, so while his parents were in town, we threw him a surprise party to celebrate the years past and, God willing, the years ahead. We invited the men and their families who have been along side him in these decisions and we enjoyed reflecting and rejoicing in the work God has done in this man of mine. We roasted him, we toasted him, and best of all we gathered around and prayed for him.
My toast for my man :)
"It's really fun to look around and enjoy all of the cool things you've done. To recognize the heroism and bravery and GI Joe-ness of your adventures and it has it's place--today is the day to reflect, and honor, and recognize the days past. Thank you for what you gave in order to serve our country.
But tonight I don't just want to reminisce on the good old days--I want to rejoice in the days to come as you answer a much higher calling and purpose for a far more lasting country.
One would say from these pictures that you have served alongside men of valor, honor, and courage. It was even a grand opportunity you had to screen for the group of men who receive their special operations from the President himself.
But as I look around the room I see a far greater band of brothers. Who you serve and fight with now are armed with weapons that are not of this world and who receive their marching orders directly from the King. These, and you with them, Todd, are mighty men of valor.
You walked away from your Rambo dreams to serve the Lord and love your family and you join the ranks of men who do the same, undercover and out of the glory beams.
You're on a new mission now.
What I recognize is that when you're on special ops with the kingdom of God, no one is taking your picture. You won't find an action photo of you encouraging a struggling brother at the coffee shop. But the courage it takes to be honest, loving, and truth telling
saves more than a life, but a soul.
There aren't Man of God or Loving Husband and Father GI Joes. No one hands you a plaque for exceptional service, or even recognizes your acts of heroism. Your wife and sons may be the only witnesses of your acts "above and beyond the call of duty."
And it's good.
From the Navy you have received your reward and recognition for your hard days of work in bronze and gold and silver medals. From this point on, your reward is of far more lasting material. And your praise is being deferred to the One who is forever worthy of praise.
I know that this brings you joy.
You may not ever hear "Bravo Zulu" again...but by His grace you will hear "well done"
and your reward will be Christ Himself.
Tonight I celebrate the man you were and rejoice in the man you are and are becoming in Christ. To the glory of God."