I didn't know that Annie still had those emails. When you read something like that it takes you back to when you originally wrote it and the first response is always "Wow I cannot believe that I was that dorky." But after the initial shock of my complete un-kooleness (read my email to Annie, towards the bottom. Terrible!!) I am brought to one place, I LOVE MY WIFE! I have so much passion for her today, right now, even though I am thousands of miles away and we have been married for almost 7 years. I love her more right now than I ever have before, because I know her better. I have always loved her spirit and her love for God and her beauty, but as the years have passed I have seen these things in practice.
I have seen her spirit in being willing to join me in the painful ministry of Navy Chaplaincy. I have felt her love for God grow through the difficult times we have had with Bella. And I have seen her beauty increase as she has gone from being a wife, to a mother and a wife. Annie is more beautiful to me now than she ever has been before, and she is my treasure, and she is the greatest friend that God could ever give me.
To change subjects now, I have been having difficult days here on deployment. Many of my fellow sailors have made it a point to inform me, in a myriad of different ways, that they think I don't really do anything and that I am basically a waste of a uniform. This is easy enough to laugh off at first but it begins to gnaw after a while.
Today in my bible reading and prayer time I came across some crumpled up papers in my backpack. They were all part of a letter that my friend Joe Gahagan had written to me before I left on this deployment (Joe forgive me for letting them get lost and crumpled). In the letter, written 6 weeks ago, Joe encourages me for the ministry that will come during the deployment. He also encourages me to not be discouraged by the assaults of others who seek to demean the Gospel and my working for its spreading.
The providence of God is so good. If you don't think much about the providence of God YOU SHOULD! My heart and my faith have been greatly encouraged over the years by keeping an eye out for the providence of God working in my life and in the lives of others. God has promised that He will work all things out for our good and for the Gospels good (Rom 8:28). And that good is to know HIM more. To feel God more through His son, to know of His work in our lives through past experiences, and to have hope and joy in the blood bought redemption of Christ.
Joe's letter was a providential expression of God's commitment to be for me. He will always be for me. Thanks Joe for writing the letter, but utmost, Thanks Be to God.