(Today’s post by Marc Cannon)
Today is Veterans Day. This is a day that we, as a nation, honor those who have served our country on the battlefield or have stood post so that the battlefield doesn’t come to our soil. There have been 45,000,000 Americans serve our country during “Wartime”. Roughly 660,000 men and women have lost their lives, Killed in Action. 1.4 million active duty soldiers are currently serving our country and 850,000 reservists are either on call, battle ready or serving somewhere across this vast globe we call Earth. These men and women have taken an oath to protect the citizenry of our nation regardless of their race, color, creed or religion. Thank each of you for serving to provide me the freedom to be able to share my thoughts and views peacefully and without tyranny.
I think it’s fitting that we’re in Esther today reading in chapter 4. Esther takes on an act of bravery that was truly life or death, not just for herself but for the Jews that were to be killed. Those she didn’t know personally, or have a connection to other than the fact they were of her own people, similarly to those mentioned above.
As I have spoken to soldiers who have served in peace time and war time. They all seem to have the same gall. Ready when called, without fail or regret. When I’ve talked to those willing to share their stories from the battlefield I’m overwhelmed with awe of their courage and bravery. War is truly the most grotesque event that can happen on this planet. As I listened to my grandfather talk about his tour in the European theater of WWII, I sat proudly as I listened to his story. I also sat stunned at the things that he’d done and the things he had seen. In some way I expected to hear him boast about the things he’d done, like a movie I suppose. I always expected him, and others I’ve spoken to about their time in battle, to speak loudly and proudly of their bravery and courage. They never have. One thing still stands out to me about my grandfather’s war story is that he said,
“I was terrified, we were all terrified….But we did what we had to do. Eventually I just got mad and because I was going to live or die I fought like hell regardless”
(Paraphrased and edited for obvious reasons)
Every day as believer I wake up in a war, so do you. Sometimes it’s with yourself, a family member, the workplace or just an ever-changing culture that seems to slip further and further into the abyss. Often times we walk away from battles because we don’t carry the badge of courage that comes through the power of the Holy Spirit, rather we don’t choose to stand that post. We don’t wrap ourselves in the bravery that our salvation provides, because it can truly be terrifying. Christ never said our wars would be easy, and He expects us to lose our lives for Him…Bravery and courage both come with sacrifice.
I know nothing can truly compare to the Cross and the freedom that His death brings. But comparatively speaking, we can look at the soldiers who have sacrificed all they’ve had and those who have given their lives to allow us to live in freedom from oppressors. Jesus’ sacrifice gives us a greater freedom over the oppression of sin!
Be brave Brothers, for we have a general far greater than Patton.