THE WONDERS OF GOD’S WAYS

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things…
 (Isa. 25:1).

Fifty-two years ago today I last flew F-100 #995—May 6, 1969—my 261st combat mission from Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, on the beach of the South China Sea. I next sat in that cockpit 48 years and a month later, on June 7, 2017, as did my wife, son, daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren, when it (out of over 2000 built) was magnificently restored and dedicated at the Georgia Museum of Aviation, the second largest Air Force Museum in the nation. It was a mountaintop moment to be there for the dedication and let my family sit in the cramped, cluttered cockpit where Dad/Granddad dodged and sweat a lot of bullets and fired a lot of his own (4×20 mm) in the Vietnam War. In His amazing grace God gave me a swept wing angel of death who never failed me in 268 combat missions, supplied copious quantities of adrenaline to compensate for paralyzing fear, and put enemy gunners with bad aim in my flight path. But for His mercy in my survival, four of my family members at that dedication would never have been born.

As the sun wanes in the western sky of my brief day, I have few greater pleasures than tracing the wonders of God’s ways in my life. of which the war was just one phase. I share Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones’ worldview: “My whole life experiences are proof of the sovereignty of God and His direct interference in the lives of men. I cannot help believing what I believe. I would be a madman to believe anything else—the guiding hand of God! It is an astonishment to me.”

Were that not enough, even better awaits. If I may borrow from one more saint—Fanny Crosby, in one of her many great hymns: 

“To God be the glory great things he has done…
But purer and higher and greater will be
Our wonder our transport when Jesus we see.”

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