Rick Husband's Highest Desire
March 1, 2003 - Rick Husband was commander of the last mission of the space shuttle Columbia. The 45-year-old Air Force colonel also was a devoted Christian.
The Testimony of Rick Husband
I became a Christian back when I was going to college at Texas Tech University. But because I didn't tell anybody that I had asked Jesus to be my Savior, I floated along for several years, not really sure how to live my life as a Christian. Then, about 12 years ago, I had to take a stand publicly for my belief in Jesus, my faith in Christ. At the same time, my wife and I started attending a church that taught from the Bible and showed people how Christians should live.
As I started to read the Bible and to learn about how God wants us to live our lives, I realized that I needed to make some changes in my life.
I had wanted to be an astronaut from the time I was a little kid. Growing up, I tried to make sure that I had all the qualifications I needed to become an astronaut. In nine years, I applied four times to be an astronaut.
On my third attempt, just as I had started to attend this church, I was invited to Houston for an interview. At the time, I was concerned that my eyesight would not be good enough to pass the physical. I began wearing hard contacts to improve my vision and to ensure that I'd be able to pass the physical. However, hard contacts were not allowed, and on my application I lied about wearing them.
I went to Houston and passed the physical, then went through the interview. But I was not hired. God showed me that lying certainly was not the kind of thing that a Christian is supposed to do. Over the next three years, I read the Bible, studied more and learned about God and how He wants me to live my life. I discovered Psalm 37:4 which says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" (NIV).
I felt that God was asking me, "What are the desires of your heart?"
And immediately I thought, "Well, I want to be an astronaut."
But as I listened more to God, He seemed to say, "No, really. What are the real desires of your heart?"
I started to think about it more. I came to realize what was more important than being an astronaut—my relationship with God and living my life as a godly man, as a godly husband and as a godly father. I wanted my wife and me to do everything possible to teach our kids about Jesus and to bring them to the point that they would accept Jesus as their Savior.
When it came time for me to fill out the application a fourth time, I felt the strongest prompting from God to tell the truth. In studying the Bible more, I had come across Proverbs 3:5-6 that says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (NIV).
It was as if God was saying, "Just trust me! You lied last time and didn't make it. Try telling the truth this time and see what happens." Finally, I had come to the point where I understood what it meant to give my life to God and to trust Him. I said, "OK, Lord. I want to do what You want me to do, and it doesn't matter if I'm an astronaut or something else."
I filled out the application truthfully, came to Houston and interviewed. I passed the physical and was hired to be an astronaut.
God says that we can trust Him, and we can.