Growing up, I always heard about the Holy Spirit. At first, my thoughts about the Holy Spirit was some faceless, non-personal spirit thing that was somehow related to God. Kind of like Star Wars’ Force. My father started something when we were younger. At bedtime, after prayers, he would give us a blessing. It was the standard blessing we had heard in church many times and like anything that was repeated over and over, it became meaningless over time.
As I got older, I experienced the Holy Spirit in a completely different way. Attending different meetings with my parents I witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit first hand. I witnessed miracle healing. I saw demons cast out in the name of Jesus. I heard people prophesying in tongues and then another person across the room interpreting. I experienced singing in the spirit, dancing in the spirit.
When I was in the Marines, I was keenly aware that the Holy Spirit was with me in Desert Storm. Many times I know I was spared from very dangerous situations. Either I would be on the helicopter the trip right before it crashed, or because of scheduling, I would miss a dangerous patrol. There was one time we were all gathered around for a briefing. Our commanding officer told us that we were about to attempt a beach landing in Kuwait. The port was mined and there were 5 Iraqi divisions lined up waiting for us. They expected half of us to get killed. I can tell you that as brave as we all liked to think we were, there were a lot of scared men on that ship. My best friend Paul and I went to our favorite spot on the ship to pray. During our prayers, the Holy Spirit told each of us, individually, that we would be alright. “Do not be afraid – I am with you always.” It was a powerful and personal message. If anyone knows how Desert Storm turned out, our amphibious force was used as a decoy. We loaded up, we were ready to go. The Iraqi’s responded. They moved two more divisions to protect the shore. They were going to repel the Marine landing. That was all our forces needed. The Army and other Marine units in Saudi Arabia went in behind them and the whole fight was over in 100 hours. We never had to land on the beach. We went ashore later, after the Iraqi’s realized that they had been duped. Nobody from our unit died. The Holy Spirit was faithful to His word – as always!
One other reason I knew that I would be coming home. The Holy Spirit gave me a promise. You see, Patti and I couldn’t have children. We had tried just about everything. God (through the Holy Spirit) said, “Just like Abraham and Sarah, you will have a child”. He told me that days before the briefing. That was in 1991. In August 1997, at age 34, we had our first child. We named her Sarah.
We now have 4 beautiful daughters and every night I give them the meaningful blessing that my father gave me. I will leave it with you.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord’s face shine upon you
And give you His peace.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit