Sgt. Jacob Daniel DeShazer was a crew member in the legendary Doolittle Raiders, a team of 80 brave military servicemen who volunteered to bomb Tokyo in retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. DeShazer was among those captured by the Japanese Army after bailing out of his plane over Japanese-occupied China. He spent 40 months in captivity, 34 months of it in solitary confinement, and was the victim of cruel torture and starvation. In his own words, DeShazer said, “My hatred for the enemy nearly drove me crazy. . .
Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.
“On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priest. About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ ‘Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentles. I am sending you to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” — Acts 26:12-18
Paul was on the road to Damascus when God met him—and changed his heart. His heart was changed. . . . his life was changed. . . the world was changed because of this. Also—The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 was on the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza when he met Philip and God changed his heart. . . .and his life was changed. . . .and the world was changed. And consider—Nicodemus was on the road at night (John 3:1-21)—with questions for Jesus. Jesus had answers, eternal answers . . . not just for Nicodemus but for all of us. Then—Jesus was walking on a path beside the Sea of Galilee when he met and called his first disciples . . . they responded as their hearts were changed. Their lives were changed dramatically and their obedience to His call changed the world. Plus—The Samaritan woman was on her way to draw water from the well when Jesus met her, had a conversation with her (John 4:4-42), and her life—and the lives of those in her village—were changed forever. These are just a few of the examples of how God met people on the road. . . .and then there’s my own journey:
I was in the midst of a TDY and living with in-laws—on the road to a new PCS assignment—when God met me there. Because He met me there, He changed my heart. Because He changed my heart, He changed my life. Because He changed my life, He changed my marriage. Because He changed my marriage, He changed my home. Because He changed my home, He changed my children’s hearts. Because He changed my children’s hearts, He changed their lives. Because He changed their lives, He changed their children’s hearts. God met me where I was (alone in Oklahoma)—and my world has never been the same.
What road are you on? Are you on the road to Kabul? to Bagram? to Qatar? to Kuwait? to Okinawa? to Norfolk? to Cape May? to Ft. Pickett? to Camp Pendleton? to Ft. Campbell? to Osan? to training? God can meet you there.
Maybe you’re on the road to your hometown to stay while your spouse is deployed. Maybe you’re on the road to your next assignment, where you will stay until he or she returns. Maybe you’re on the road to a house off-base. God can meet you there.
Maybe you’re on the road to loneliness. Maybe you’re on the road to despair. Maybe you’re even on the road to divorce. God can meet you there.
Maybe you feel like you’re on the road to nowhere—totally stuck with no hope for any change for good. God can meet you there.
It might be a billboard message. It might be a word from a friend, or even a stranger. It might be a song that comes to mind. It might be a comment on the radio. It might be a program on TV, or something you see on the computer. It might be in your reading. Or it might be that still, small voice—and God speaks to you amidst your comings and goings, or amidst your confusion.
The question will be—do you have ears to hear? Do you have eyes to see? In my case, I was empty. Life was missing something, but I didn’t know what. And then I heard the gospel message—from strangers, but really from the heart of God piercing my heart in a way that had never happened before. I heard. I knew then that I was a sinner in need of a Savior—and Jesus was His name. He loved me! He had a purpose for my life—just like He did for Paul on the road to Damascus. He gave me forgiveness . . . and a hunger for His Word that has never been quenched, even thirty years later.
Truth and peace have been my companions, on the road, ever since. It’s still been a tough road at times (hills, stop signs, turns), but it’s been a good road.
P.S. Any detours have been of my own doing.
Questions to Share:
1. If God spoke to you on your road, how are you prepared to listen?
2. How will your family be impacted by your growth in knowing God? If you were to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). . . would that change the way you interact with your spouse?
3. If you want to know more, click here.