Monday, June 3, 2013

His Place in the World

It was a great opportunity to see our son, Andy’s, workplace.  Family Day was approved, and we had our security clearance to get on base.  We have been on base before, and toured a couple of large ships.  This time, however, we would be going down, into a submarine!  The USS W. Virginia.  Could I overcome my fears of ladders and the unknown?

The USS W. Virginia

Andy asked if I wanted him to go first, so he could guide me down the absolutely straight up and down ladder of 25 feet.  Or, as he said with his great sense of humor, “Make the first step; otherwise it’s 25 feet to the next one!” “ Ok, Mom, take that first step, then I want you to lean backwards as far as you can go.” “  Lean backwards? Questioned I.”  “Yes, lean backwards.”

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Sure enough, by leaning backwards, I could easily climb down, as there was a cage apparatus to rest my weight upon, making it much easier.

Made it to the second level! 
Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
There were other crew members there to help make sure I was feeling secure in my climb.  YES!  I did it! 
We toured that level and learned from many of his shipmates.  Many things of course were still secured, but with white boards and knowledge, his co-workers explained things in simple terms for us. 

Exodus 31:3
and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—
Down again.  In all, we weaved in and out of three levels of the submarine.  Our ears were popping.  Certain areas were closed off for national security reasons.  And that was fine.  I now could picture where my son worked.  How much more easily I would be able to pray for him and his shipmates, after meeting them and viewing their workplace. One of the last places we visited was Andy’s “rack,” better known as his sleeping quarters.  There were nine wooden box- like beds with thin mattresses on them.  Nothing at all like we enjoy at home.  When I asked him how he could sleep on them, he said, after the work days that we put in, you could sleep anywhere. 

Genesis 28:11
When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
After our tour, we climbed back up into the day light.  I was filled with the heart of all his shipmates, knowing that they are well trained, intelligent, and hard working for our American causes and needs.  

Petty Officer 1st Class
 Our reward came later, as we watched our son receive a special award for his hard work bringing the USS W. Virginia from dry dock and eventually getting ready for sea trials. By this time, we were packed under a park shelter as it was raining sideways and the temperatures had dropped twenty degrees in one hour.  Our son, Andy, or Andrew, or Pigg as we heard throughout the submarine, was now a Petty Officer 1st Class!  Named Andrew after his paternal grandfather’s middle name, little would we know how prophetic his name could be.  Andrew, fisher of men.  Christian.  United States Sailor.

Dry Dock

Matthew 4:18
[ Jesus Calls His First Disciples ] As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.

Many times through that day I was reminded of Corrie Ten Boom’s words she wrote after surviving as a prisoner of concentration camps.  Her book, The Hiding Place is a powerful testimony to believing in God’s words. 
“What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”  Oh Lord, please keep our military and their families safe.
“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”  No matter how far Andy may be in the submarine, I know that God will love and protect him.
“There is no panic in Heaven!  God has no problems, only plans.”  For a while, we wondered if Andy would find his place in the world.  We are assured that he has. 

The Submarine Ball with Heather

Carol Pigg

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