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Christmas Peace
I have not been back to Southwest Asia since I left in 2003. I have, however, spent many additional months on the road since then. During these times there is always this ...

Christmas Peace

Maj. Brandon Reid, United States Air Force

I have not been back to Southwest Asia since I left in 2003. I have, however, spent many additional months on the road since then. During these times there is always this one constant in my mind: my wife and children who I miss, but God is always there to help me through the pain of longing for my family. They are my compass.

In December 2005 I was two and a half months into a four-month deployment to the Philippines in support of the Global War on Terror. It was Christmas night. Like most Americans, attending a Christmas Eve service has always been a central part of my Christmas celebration, whether at home or abroad. But this was the first time I didn’t attend. I couldn’t get myself into the Christmas spirit. As a matter of fact, I was quite bitter about the military, my surroundings, and life in general. Once self-pity sets in, it’s easy to let it build and believe that you’re the most pathetic person on earth. These beliefs aren’t true, however once again God was there to bring me out of my misery.

I had taped a picture of my daughters in their Christmas dresses next to my cot. While I had been praying to God each day, they were often empty prayers. However, after talking with my wife on a satellite phone I went to sulk on my cot. Upon looking at the picture, I closed my eyes, started to say a few words, and stopped. I didn’t feel like thanking God at all. After about thirty seconds, guilt came over me. I closed my eyes again. At that time the God’s spirit came over me, stabilizing me. I felt a closeness that I hadn’t felt in weeks. He was with me at my most troubling time. I felt refreshed and reassured that whatever the challenges of the next two months, the Lord would walk with me and see me through; I simply had to have faith and be assured of God’s promise that he would with me no matter what was ahead.

Prayer:

May I constantly remember those in my inner circle, lifting them up in prayer to you.


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