Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: The War Was Won
By Pat Small
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April 9, 1865. Gen Robert E. Lee paces in his tent – 3 steps forward, 3 steps back. He was just handed a note from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Grant suggests that it is time for Lee to surrender. Those are bitter words to read, to think, to contemplate. I am not beat yet, he thinks. If I can just get some supplies for my men. They are brave. They are not complainers. But they are hungry. They are fighting on less food than a toddler. Ammunition is nearly gone. As he goes over and over in his mind the near hopelessness, his soldier’s mindset takes over. He knows that supplies have been sent. If he can just get to them, Grant won’t know what hit him. Yet, he sends a return note to Grant asking what he has in mind. Perhaps he still thinks he can negotiate.
He pushes aside his tent flap and puts on his General’s face, musters his men, and tells them the plan. They break up camp and march towards Appomattox Station. Enroute nearly a quarter of the men are cut off and surrender, causing Lee to be late arriving at the Station. The northern armies get there first. In yet another direction, Gen. Custer has captured and burned another supply train. In every direction they march, Grant seems to get there first. Supplies are destroyed, roads cut off, and hope is flagging. His army is weak, exhausted and running out of options.
There is one last chance. A train is waiting to the west. Their boots squish in the mud. The rain slaps their faces. Hunger gnaws at their bellies. But Lee urges them on. Word comes from one of his generals. Without backup support, it is impossible to reach those supplies.
Lee groans as the truth becomes clear. “There is nothing left for me to do but to go and see Gen. Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths,” he laments. Haven’t we all been there? Our defeats are not usually witnessed by a whole army, and the consequences don’t affect a country. But to us, they are monumental!
The two generals have couriers making tracks between the camps until a meeting place and time is worked out. Gen. Lee still has some pride left. He bathes and dresses in a spotless, pressed uniform as he prepares to meet Grant. Grant arrives mud spattered , his muddy boots and lack of sidearm a signal of his graciousness in victory.
After some small talk, it is the defeated Lee who broaches the subject of terms. Grant’s requirements are minimal, and the document is duly signed. The war is officially won. There will be battles fought yet as it will take some time for all units to be notified. No faxes or e-mail in 1865.
Lee’s surrender is not a defeat, however, for it allows the country to come together again, heal its wounds and build a strong UNITED STATES.
So many parallels for the Christian. We will go north, south, east and west before we will surrender. Lee put his men through untold hardship, lost hundreds to death, left many women widowed and children fatherless in his determination not to surrender. We often leave immeasurable wounds in our wake as we fight against God. Jesus said to Saul: “…it is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 26:14). When we at last lay down our arms and surrender, we will be able to look back and realize that as Lee’s surrender was not a defeat, so too our surrender is not a defeat. It is the means by which we will be victorious.
The United States has been used and blessed of God to bring hope around the world. The church, the body of Christ, is our army. Through us the Gospel is bringing victory. Battles are still being lost, but the war has been won. Soldier on, men (and women)!
Based on information from Wikipedia
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