”The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men ready for military service—able-bodied men who could handle shield and sword,who could use a bow, and who were trained for battle.” NIV
Today was family day at the Army Depot where my son’s unit trains during their monthly drills. We had perfect weather, and a nice breeze was blowing through the pavilion. All the children were running here and there, tossing water balloons at each other, playing on the swings, and begging parents to take them to the pool!
I had a chance to sit by myself and just absorb what was taking place. None of the soldiers were in uniform today. They appeared normal somehow, looking like ‘regular people’.
To look at these men and women today, you would never have known some of the stories behind them. Years spent in service, where they served. Many had already taken their tour in Iraq.
One I talked to came home early from his tour due to heart problems. He had a stint placed at the Army hospital in Germany before they flew him home where he ended up having a double by-pass. He is only 33, and just re-enlisted for another six years if he passes his upcoming physical training exams. I saw a sad note in his wife’s eyes…one of worry. They have a 5 year old daughter.
I watched my son from a distance interacting with the ‘guys’. They treat each other like family and all the families have a special bond. Their loved one puts him or herself in danger willingly for freedom’s sake.
When the Commander stepped forward to speak, all normal activity ceased. You could have head a pin drop. He handed out three awards to convoy truck drivers who just returned recently from Iraq. He handed each of them a case displaying a folded American flag along with other items from the Army. As he held out his hand to shake theirs for the photo, he said, “Well done. Thank you for serving.”
I couldn’t help but relate this to our Christian walk. We have missionaries in every country serving the Savior and the freedom we have in Christ. Many are in dangerous areas and risk their lives every day while spreading the Gospel
message of freedom from sin.
”Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” NIV
Jesus Himself looked like an ordinary man..until He performed a miracle of healing, or casting out demons, or raising people from the dead! He was
equipped from the Father to do the tasks at hand. He is still standing to the right hand of the Father, ready and willing to act on our behalf!
Our soldiers look like ordinary people…until they are called to perform. They are equipped for the task at hand. Trained. Ready, and willing to act.
2 Samuel 22:35
”He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” NIV
At the end of the award presentation the Commander said a word of thanks to the families of all the men and women who willingly serve this great country. He said it’s a matter of teamwork that makes our Army what it is today…and then
let out an Army “Hooah!” You could hear it reverberate…they all responded back with the same. Gave me goose bumps…
1 Samuel 17:20
”Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out,as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.” NIV
Family. We belong to the Family of God. I hope that some day when we reach our heavenly Home our great Commander will take us by the hands and look deep into our eyes with gratitude for a job well done.
1 Timothy 1:12
”I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” NIV
We will be rewarded if we have served Him well, and with more than we can imagine now. Service time is not always easy. But we must persevere and keep focused on the task at hand, whatever we are called to do, and do it in love.
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature rather, serve one another in love.” NIV