Godís Unconditional LoveBy: Al Meservy August 1978
My tour in the Navy was almost over and I decided to get out. Surely God didnít want me to be separated from my family. Now my test would come. I prayed for God to let me out early as was customary when the ship is going on a six-month cruise and you won't complete it. No way: I had to go.
Fran and the kids went home to Texas to wait and I left with the ship. My relief had come aboard. He was good and "gung ho" to boot. He took over everything. The only thing left for me to do was babysitting the biggest troublemaker we had. He was my last responsibility and my most hated.
Scotty was short, fat, liked drugs, booze and women. He was so foul-mouthed that we nicknamed him "diarrhea mouth" because that's all that came out. If you showed him a picture of your girl, he would turn her into a tramp in two or three words. Scotty hated to work. I had already put him on report for breaking a metal door when forced to go to work.
Why Scotty: anybody but Scotty. "Lord why don't you answer my prayers any more?" To a baby Christian trying to be like Jesus, my worst nightmare had begun. Here I was, no prayers answered, stuck with Scotty on a floating jail from which I had to die to escape, and no answer from God. Just a nightmare that got worse and worse.
Everybody received orders to leave, dates and flight times except me. Mine refused to show up. I prayed even harder for God to prove He was real and not my imagination. Eighty-nine days at sea with Scotty and faith began to dim. I hated Scotty.
There were only three days left before my hitch was up and still I'm stuck with no orders, no flight, and no reprieves in sight. I hated Scotty. I couldnít stand to hear him talk. The last day, sitting next to Scotty, I wanted to kill him: Just need to figure a way to get him over by the catwalk and throw him overboard.
We were watching "Heidi" on TV and Scotty started up with what he would do with her. I wanted to shove my fist right down his throat and shut that mouth forever. Knowing I would go to jail is all that stopped me. I was at my wits end: no possible solution! Silently I bowed my head and said "Lord, Jesus, you said love could solve any problem. How can it solve this?" Instantly I was taken in the Spirit. God ripped all the anger, fear and bitterness from me and enveloped me a beautiful loving bliss. I never knew so much love was possible.
There is nothing on earth like it: it was like being in paradise. It felt like God reached inside me ripped pain and anger out and threw them away. He filled me with His love. Then, God showed me the real Scotty.
I saw everything about him in an instant of time. On the inside, he was like a big teddy bear who just wanted someone to love him. All his life he had been taught and believed that a man had to act mean and vulgar to be respected. It was all a big front to cover the real Scotty. God does know all about us.
God gave me a message to tell Scotty and, suddenly, I was back in the TV room again. It took me ten to twenty minutes just to get hold of myself so I could tell Scotty what God said. "Scotty, if youíll take down the wall you've built between you and everybody else in the world with the words out of your mouth and let them see you as you really are, they will find a warm, decent human being on the inside."
In that moment Scotty's face changed and he smiled. Within an hour my orders and flight times came in and I was packing to go home. The next morning I was on my way home and two days later discharged. I don't know what happened to Scotty but I'd sure like to see him again one day.
2 Cor 12:1-4 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago; whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows; such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man; whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows; how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:16-20 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Rom 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Picture taken by one of Al's friends on the USS John F. Kennedy Aug 1978 of Al in Yugoslavia (now Sarajevo).
Music: "Love Lifted Me" by various artists on CD "100 Hymns & Praise Classics (Disc 2)"
A Lamp Unto Our Feet
I've Seen & Heard of Jesus