Proverbs 20:24 “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?”

It all started with school. I was bored, AND IT WAS GETTING ME IN TROUBLE!

At any rate…I did get into enough trouble as a young man that I had to go before a judge. [No felonies.] I had one week of fear to wait.

I was terrified! Up until that point, I figured I could talk my way out of anything…but this time I knew in my heart, I was dead meat.

I needed to go to church…but which one? (At that time any church would do. I picked one.)

In that church, I heard for the FIRST time how to be saved…in the BACK pew…and I got SAVED…I KNEW for sure…and I have never doubted it to this day!

Miracle #1, (in a long list of miracles in my life) all charges were dropped.

Well…eventually I quit school and Mom let me join the Army. I wanted to go to Germany to fight the ****es. I got bored once again…No combat, nothing happened on the front in Germany and I had a strange feeling that I was never going to be in combat.

I wanted to be on the front fighting the enemy, so I transferred out to a unit I knew was going to Vietnam – an all-volunteer unit of men who wanted to fight. I signed up for the eight month Advanced Infantry/Ranger training program.

Within 20 days of shipping out for Vietnam, I was sent home on a 15 day leave. On the 11th day while waiting to pull into the driveway on my old Harley, I was hit by a drunk driver. My left leg was cut off below the knee.

Because of all my very special advanced EMT training along with all the extra combat skills I received, I was the only person there who knew what to do! I ended up spending 1½ years in an Army hospital.

Now here is a run down on both good things & bad things that came from that accident. I never thought anything good would come from having my left leg cut off but God was working through my tragedy!

Good thing– They reattach my leg. [Real pioneer stuff back in 1966]
Bad thing– It meant I had to go through 5 operations.
Good thing– All of them were successful, and they all worked out in the end.
Bad thing– I was had a total of 23 full leg plaster casts, one after the other for 3 years.
Good thing– It slowed me down long enough to get both a GED and high school diploma.
Bad thing– My recovery was very serious and slow. I was in Valley Forge Army Hospital for 1 1/2 years.
Good thing– I learned a lot about life and death, pain and suffering.
Bad thing– I saw many young men grow bitter, blaming God for their condition.
Good thing– I saw many inspiring things happen to people, lives changed…myself included.

There I met my future wife Monika while in cast number 15. We dated and we were engaged in casts 16 though 19. We got married in cast number 20.

Bad thing– No one wants to employ someone with a full leg cast. Note: After I got out of my 23rd cast, I was told I would have to wear a full leg brace for at least 5 years if not for the rest of my life.
Good thing– From all the small jobs I did get, I developed a multitude of skills.
Bad thing– I didn’t know which one to stay with.
Good thing– God DID know a plan for my life and HE got me into a field of work I would never had guessed would be my expertise: Sewing Machine Repair
Yes, ladies, I can fix your serger. I had my own business for 21 years and my wife and I are still together after 47 years.

So Why Should I Tell You All This?

Proverbs 20:24 “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?”

For me, absolutely nothing happened the way I thought it would. Regardless of how hard we try, we don’t really know what is good for us. Therefore we must hand over our life to the Lord. Get saved. But besides that, grow in the spirit. Get in to church and get discipled.

God’s eyes were fixed on every detail of my life. And His eyes are fixed on yours as well. He has a purpose for our lives.

In Romans 8:28 the Bible says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called, *according to his purpose.” *Think about this. I will be coming back to it later.

WHY did all this stuff happen to me? I don’t know! But look at what God has to say: 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

All I knew at that time before I went in the Army was I had trusted in God’s saving grace by faith. And I knew that God heard my prayer, came into my heart and Jesus saved my soul. All my fears were gone. My life started to change almost at once. Look back at the beginning again…

Within three months I had quit school, joined the army and was sent to Germany.

There in my barracks I had guys telling me, “Go see the Priest and do what he tells you to do.” One guy told me I was not fully filled with the Holy Ghost. Like there’s some Holy Spirit “dipstick?” Another said I needed to read another book…besides the Bible…and that would make everything clear. I was as confused as a termite in a YO-YO!

My point to you is:
Yes, I was saved, a new creature. God saw me NOW as His child.
Yes, old things are passed away. The old man is washed clean by the blood of Jesus.
Yes, all things are become new. I was raised up in newness of life
BUT what kind of Christian was I?
Ephesians 4:14 “That we hence-forth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
Remember when I said “think about this part” in Romans 8:28 “…called according to his purpose.”
*Abbott Commentary brings to focus this part of the verse – The redemption of the sinner is not a work which he performs upon himself, but one which God performs upon him, –being commenced and continued through its several successive steps, by divine power…and that, where it is once begun, it will be carried forward to its final consummation.

It’s NOT by our works, but in spite of what we do. Our faith in God is how we are sanctified and grow.
Acts 8:31 “And he said how can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him”

My conversion came when I was convicted of my sins. I saw how little I knew about what God expected of me. How blind I was to all the things he had been doing for me after I asked him in to my heart. I was living in my carnal nature.

Jeremiah 10:23 “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”

Proverbs 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge him and HE shall direct thy paths.”

Without discipleship, Christians will not grow. People are coming and going from churches every day, because they don’t know what to do next…salvation is of the Lord…discipleship is our job.

God already knew my path, all I had to do was trust Him by faith. It was only later in my life that I put it all together.

I was saved (in a church that preached salvation).

I was taught what I was going to need to know. (EMT combat self triage)

I was toughened up to take the hit. (Ranger trained instructors)

I was 25 miles away from one of three doctors in the world who could reattach a leg.

God’s fingerprints are all over my life…Are they on yours?