The 2019 Legacy Program season began last week with a group of 24 men at a soggy SkyRose Ranch in San Miguel, California. The rain began falling a couple of days before the arrival of the Warriors, making travel more challenging than normal. Despite delays and cancellations, and muddy, nearly impassable roads, the Warriors arrived ready for what was to lie ahead.
What might seem to outsiders as random chance, happenstance, and even at times bad luck, is really God’s providential plan. Things like last minute roster changes, cancelations, and even additions, have the tendency to make us think our plans are at best, continually changing and at worst, a complete disaster; and maybe ours are, but not God’s. None of it takes Him by surprise, and none of it was ever out of His control. In fact, as often as it happens, as the week at SkyRose progresses, a theme begins to emerge; our Lord will put the exact right group of personalities together… each and every time.
Early on, we began to realize that this group of Warriors, as a whole, were “wanderers.” Many of them had relationships with Jesus, but for any number of reasons they had turned their backs on that relationship. Much like the parable of the Prodigal Son.
“A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.”
“And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.”
For whatever reason, the son in this parable turned his back on his relationship with his father because he thought he couldn’t live the life he wanted to and be in relationship with his father. Many service members heading into a combat environment feel it’s impossible to reconcile being a man of God and do what one needs to do in order to effectively fight a war. So, they “shelve” their relationship with the Father. Ironically, experience has shown that to be the opposite of the Truth. We can strike out on our own, be the masters of our own destiny, but sooner or later we end up coming face-to-face with the reality that our best life is always lived within God’s design.
Much like the son in the parable, most of this week’s group of Warriors did not end up where they thought they would. For many, rock-bottom became a painful reality.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.’”
The Warriors may not have been starving with hunger, but their circumstances many times are just as life-threatening. Doing it on their own, their way, stopped working long ago.
“And he arose and came to his father.”
And they arrived at SkyRose Ranch. Maybe they hadn’t realized yet that they were putting themselves in a position to return to their Father, but He knew it.
“When he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”
These 24 Warriors were presented with Biblical Truth. A blueprint for authentic manhood. For some, they were introduced to the Savior for the very first time. For others, it was a reunion. But whichever case it was, when they asked to be restored, they were welcomed with open arms by their Father who never stopped looking for and waiting for and hoping for their return!
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this, my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”
Twenty-four men found hope and new purpose. They got up off the ‘X’ and moved forward. They put plans into action to be the men, the husbands, the fathers, and the leaders they were created to be.