For this week’s Monday Minute, Kristin shares about finding God’s presence in every military generation.
God’s Presence in Every Military Generation
by Kristin Goodrich (KG)
I spent my childhood living in Japan during the Vietnam War.
I lived in Colombia during my teens as narco-violence skyrocketed.
I joined the Navy in the 1980s, and we studied and prepared to respond to the Soviet threat during the Cold War.
As we moved from the 1980s to the 1990s, we saw the rise of regional conflicts in Panama, Bosnia, and Kosovo. We witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and then the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, followed by the first Gulf War.
A decade later, the landscape changed again with 9-11 early in the first decade of the 2000s.
And by the time we moved into our current decade, military forces were active in Afghanistan and Africa.
I’ve come to believe that each decade essentially represents a “military generation,” demonstrated by new decade-long conflicts and rapidly emerging communications platforms.
In the ‘70s, our family recorded cassette tapes which we then mailed from Japan to our grandparents in the US.
And in the ‘80s, we hand-carried mail between the US and Colombia because there was no reasonable alternative.
In the ‘90s, we spent hundreds of dollars on international phone calls between Okinawa and Maryland as we planned our military wedding. Later, I hesitate to leave our base house, not wanting to miss his MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) call from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Kosovo.
In the ‘00s, we, along with our kids, were able to use email in addition to snail-mail. My husband was TDY to the US when 9-11 happened. For the first five days, the kids and I hunkered down in our off-base house in a small German village with no phone access back to the US.
And into this decade? Today, we can use cell phones and social media platforms which include video options to connect with loved ones serving around the globe!
Communication is always a challenge.
At times, I’ve been tempted to believe that others in different decades had it “easier” and at the same time, I’ve been relieved that I haven’t had to experience the challenges of social media black-outs after a down-range incident.
I’ve come to realize that communication during different military decades isn’t a matter for comparison. Communication in every military era is a challenge!
“One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.”
I have seen God at work in my life, in what I now view as multiple “military generations.”
- Keeping me safe in 1989 during Operation Just Cause when women weren’t authorized to carry weapons into combat
- Helping my husband’s KC-135 clear the runway on take-off, loaded to its maximum capacity combat fuel load as the Air War kicked off on January 17, 1991
- Meeting our family during a medical emergency while he was deployed
- Being blessed to see, in person, our military peeps in places as remote as Eielson AFB, AK to Hong Kong harbor to boarding the USS Willamette as it transited the Panama Canal
God’s presence is palpable in his Word in every military Generation.
I have put on and then taken off my uniform, raised kids in the military community, and shared in my husband’s retirement from military service. Through every season of service, God has been teaching me that his holy Word, the Bible, is the perfect training manual for every military generation–even when I didn’t recognize his teaching.
Then, and now, the Bible is a living instrument of communication between God and me. Full of examples and encouragement, the principles of healthy communication are ready for me to apply to my life, in every military moment!
Serve and know the Lord today, in the midst of your military era! Spend time looking for God’s presence in your military story. Share with someone from a different “military generation” how you have experienced the Lord’s faithfulness in military life.
Read: Read all twenty-one verses of Psalm 145.
Reflect: What truths from this Psalm are evident in your life during this military season?
Respond: Write down five experiences where you can see God’s work across
the miles and across the years – and share those with Planting Roots.
Lord, thank you for meeting us in every military decade! Help us to recognize your righteousness at every point in our military journey, and to give you the praise you so richly deserve. Amen.
For some ways you can study God’s Word more deeply, check out our Planting Roots Bible Studies.