When I was twenty-one years, I served in the Army in Vietnam; and I thank God that my name isn’t on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. I thought that I got away scot-free, but thirty years later, I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic-Stress-Order.
PTSD is like the devil. It steals your joy and it steals your life. My doctors saw that I couldn’t control my anger, and they took me off work. So, I spent a year on sick leave, and then took a disability retirement.
American soldiers never “retreat.” We just “fall back and regroup,” and that’s what I had to do. I was in trouble, and I needed God’s help. I spent that year reading the Bible from cover-to-cover. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time; but I was fellowshipping with God in his word. I became fascinated with God’s word. I copied down the Bible verses that seemed most significant to me, and put them together in a book. That book of verses eventually became my first published book, The Bible Believer’s Handbook.
When you read an author’s work, it makes you feel like you know him. That’s because he reveals his heart and his mind through his words. This is especially true of God, who is the Author of the Bible.
I had swerved into doing exactly what the following passage of Scripture says to do. I was delighting in the law of the Lord, and meditating on it day and night. I became like the man who is described in these verses, and that put me on a collision course with the blessing of God.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
It took the Federal bureaucracy a very long time to process my disability retirement. My sick leave ran out, and I had no income. When all of my savings were gone, I was at the end of my rope. I was old, and broke, and too sick to work; and, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to work again.
I had hit rock bottom, and I knew that God was my only hope. I cried out to him in desperation, “Jesus, please help me!” Jesus heard my prayer and he answered it.
The first thing that he did was to get rid of my anger. I went to bed mad at the world, just like I did every night; and when I woke up, my anger was gone. That intense anger, which had been my constant companion for thirty years, just disappeared. Jesus took it away, and he replaced it with joy and peace. I knew that I had experienced a miracle!
I heard somebody laughing, and then, I realized that it was me. I hadn’t laughed in years. Jesus healed me, just like he healed all of those people in the Bible. I was like blind Bartimaeus, who cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47) I had done the same thing that he did, and I got the same result. I had acknowledged that Jesus is the Messiah, and cried out to him for help; and he had mercy on me.
These Bible verses explain what Jesus did for me, and I will never stop thanking him for it. “I waited patiently for the Lord: and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of miry pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3)
The next thing that he did was to put me back to work. He gave me a new job, with better pay. I didn’t do anything to be treated so well, but Jesus gave me the help that I needed. He has saved me spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and financially. That’s who he is and what he does. He is our Savior. He does the things for us that we could never do for ourselves.
Jesus loves you and he cares about you. If you’re in trouble, call on him; and he will help. My testimony is that Jesus’ words are true. He said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)