The year was 1942. My Dad, Irving W. Woolf, left the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL to join the Army-Air Corps (forerunner to the United States Air Force). Like many young men his age, Dad wanted to join the military and defend our nation from the Nazis. Following basic training and technical school, he was assigned to his first duty station at Burton Wood Air Field in Warrington, England. He served faithfully at Burton Wood for 29 months. During that time Dad met my Mother, Ethel Churm at a dance in Warrington. They fell in love, married, and had loveable, little old me. Following Dad’s discharge in 1945, he moved back to Illinois to join his father’s business. Mom and I followed on a “bride ship” which landed in New York City. After a year in Chicago, Mom and Dad built a house in Wheaton, Illinois where I was raised. My Mom’s parents and her brother soon emigrated from England to America and lived with us for several years before buying their own homes. After finishing high school in Wheaton, I went to several colleges and wound up graduating from Bradley University. It was during the Bradley University years that I met and married Elsie Moore. She was a “born again” Christian who faithfully witnessed to me about God’s great love for me in sending Jesus Christ to die in my place. Through her witness, the witness of her family, and the preaching of Rev. Billy Graham, in 1970 I asked Jesus Christ to forgive my sins and save me. God did an amazing thing! He saved me! While in the United States Air Force I soon felt called to go to seminary to serve Him with my life. I was honorably discharged from the Air Force and began the calling God placed on my life. I have pastored and preached the gospel of Christ faithfully for over 30 years.
Why am I telling you all this? I wanted to give you the backdrop to the sovereignty of God in my life. God used World War II to compel my father to join the Army-Air Corps. Had he joined the Army or another branch of the military he would never have been stationed in Warrington, England. God used a charity dance, The Topper’s Ball, to introduce my Dad to my Mom. Had he not attended they never would have met. God brought them together and they fell in love and married. God used their marriage to bring me into the world. God used my college unrest to cause me to attend summer school (EVERY year of my college years). Had I been a more stable student I never would have met my wife, Elsie. God used my final summer school experience to introduce me to meet and eventually marry Elsie Moore. She registered me. Had we not married I would not have been exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ nor would I have been saved. All through my life, God has sovereignly led me and caused me to do His will.
What about you? You have a story too that details the divine sovereign leading of the King of the Universe. Have you thought about it, the twists and turns, the bumps and bruises that God has used to shape you and bring you to this place in your life? God loves you so.
May God use you and me for His glory,