'Wars and The Wearies'
by Travis Wiginton
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In this week's Daily Oklahoman newspaper, Ann Defrange quoted Carl Thompson
(a veteran of the U.S. Air Force during WWII, Korea and VietNam).
"We should make a point of Veterans' Day.....
the11th day of the 11th month at 11 a.m.
In 1918, General Pershing accepted the surrender of Germany, ending WWI. The Armistice that was signed was HOPED to be the end of a war, to end ALL wars!"
As we know, it did not.
My Dad was a teenager in WWI...in WWII, I was a teenager....but my older brother Bryce, enlisted and fought with General Patton's 3rd Army, from the Battle of the Bulge all the way to Berlin. WWII came close to home when a neighbor boy, Donald Reid, was killed in Europe and a high school buddy, Lester West, died in the Philippines.
I was in the Army during the Korean War and later went to Korea as a missionary.
Here is a list of the war deaths, to help remind us to keep 'Armistice Day' alive and to remember the price that was paid by so many for our freedoms!
Revolutionary War: 25,324
Civil War: 496,332
Korean War: 54,246
VietNam War: 58,655
Afghanistan and Iraq: over 2,000
What a price to pay...for the freedoms we enjoy!
No, 'appreciate' is a better word!
As we enjoy (and appreciate) our freedoms,
let us continue to pray for those whom we helped to 'free'.
There are critics of the present war who say that we are fighting for oil...or some other reason. You ask the men and women in the trenches (and the front lines) and they would probably use one word worthy of their sacrifice....FREEDOM!
We need to remember that we did not start WWI....
the Germans did when their U-Boats sank the Lusitania.
We did not start WWII....
the Japanese did that when they bombed Pearl Harbor.
We did not start the Korean War....
the Communists in China and North Korea did that when they invaded South Korea.
We did not start the present war....
the terrorists did that when they flew planes into the Twin Towers in NYC, the Pentagon and were evidently attempting further terror when another plane crashed in Pennsylvania.
The Bible in Matthew 24:1-14 prophesied:
"There shall be wars and rumors of wars, as the end approaches"
and in verse 14:
"This gospel shall be preached to all nations, then shall the end come."
This is the key for our world! There may never be world-wide peace, but because of Jesus and the Gospel, there can be peace in individual hearts, no matter what is going on in the world.
Remember, you make a difference, one person at a time.
Our son Craig is the Women's Basketball Coach at Grand Canyon University. One of his players slipped an envelope under his office door earlier this week, saying that she would like to meet with Craig. During their meeting later that day, she prayed to receive Christ as her personal Savior. Craig called us and was on 'Cloud Nine', saying that if they never won any games, he already knew 'why' he was there! At the end of their meeting, Craig held up 3 fingers and told her that before their game that night, her to tell at least 3 people about her decision. As he walked into the gym before their game, he spotted her and held up 3 fingers. Smiling back, she held up 6 fingers!!!
(Then she went out and scored 35 points, he said)
We arrived in South Korea in September 1960, to serve as missionaries
(this was just 7 yrs. after the war ended).
The country was 85% destroyed and in some places twice, as the war reversed itself. During the war, 2 million refugees came into South Korea to escape the Communists. Over 1 million civilians were killed, thousands of Korean soldiers died and the USA lost 43,000 of our troops. When we saw the devastation of war first hand, we were thankful that no war had come to the shores of our homeland!
However today in South Korea, there are thousands of churches still open and even sending out missionaries to other countries.
This is perhaps the most graphic picture of the difference that Christ makes.
The present world situation is volatile and merits MUCH prayer!
I know that we all get weary of war, but our weariness does not compare to those who have loved ones over there!!
I remember how my Mom longed to hear from Bryce while he was fighting in Europe.
We were SO weary of that war as so many are of this present war!
So a good question is, 'What to do with our wearies?'
We should take them to the Lord in Prayer, daily devotional books and the Psalms.
Most people's favorite is Psalm 23 for it emphasizes the needs that our Shepherd Jesus fulfills in us.
However my favorite for the wearies is Psalm 37.
Let me share some thoughts from this Psalm by David (who knew much about conflicts)
1) TRUST IN THE LORD (vs. 3)
The object of your faith/trust, must be the Lord:
"The same yesterday, today and forever".....and
"I will never leaver you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5-8)
All else including the world situation, is in flux (constant change)
Matthew 7:24-27 gives the rock foundation that stands against all of life's storms, including war.
I like this quote:
"Don't tell God how big your storms are...tell your storms how big your God is!"
For further study on the 'wearies' and faith, look up:
Jeremiah 31:21 "God will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
Make sure though that your faith is in THE Someone
.....and not in some THINGS!
2) DELIGHT THYSELF IN THE LORD (vs. 5)
This can follow, if you REALLY trust!
Too many people delight in lesser things (like 'stuff', sports, etc. and not in the Lord)
Read the newspaper or watch news reports and there's not much to 'delight' in,
but read your Bible and trust in the Lord and there will MUCH delight!
I was inducted into the U.S. Army one month before Christmas and Ernest Tubb's song, 'Blue Christmas' seemed like it was on in the PX jukebox all of the time!
Any Christmas (or day) will be 'blue' without Jesus!
Is He real in your life every day, as well as at Christmas?
3) COMMIT YOUR WAYS UNTO THE LORD (vs. 6)
Would that we civilian folk could have the commitment that our soldiers have in their mission for the USA and our freedoms!
Give yourself daily to the Will of God, as soldiers do at reveille each morning when they report for duty.
4) REST IN THE LORD (vs. 7)
Rest means 'let the weights of your life down on the Lord'
Titus 1:2: "God who can not lie has promised eternal life."
(This is a sufficient kind of life that starts at conversion and can be 'new' and 'growing' daily.)
Whoever is 'mastered by Christ' can 'master' any circumstance!
One of my favorite expressions is 'Let go and let God', meaning let HIM be in charge!
Hebrews 11 is a great Chapter about men and women who did that, by faith.
The key for us doing this, is Hebrews 12:1-4: "Seeing that we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset us...and let us run with patience, the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith."
"The steps of a good person are ordered by the Lord and he delights in His way."
Two songs came to mind:
One is 'Tell It To Jesus':
'Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving, over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus.'
The other one is: 'Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus':
'O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior...
and life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."
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This article moved and touched my heart so much Travis. My heart overflows when I think of our men and boys of this great land who laid down their lives for the freedom of others. My son was born 11 11 71 and now we find ourselves in a different kind of warfare as stated in 2 Tim. 2:26-and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been TAKEN CAPTIVE by him to do his will. My son who was raised as a Christian, now needs to be liberated and set free from the snares of the devil. So I wage war in prayer, not only for him, but for all who have been taken captive. Blessings, Sharon