My husband served in Vietnam.
No matter where a soldier is stationed, or at what time he/she may serve, they live under the stress of constant readiness for battle. Soldiers realize that any moment they can be called upon to do battle–whether it is to fight a wildfire, aid flood victims, walk on sentry duty, or face down an enemy.
Is it any wonder that they suffer from the trauma of returning to ‘normalcy’ after being conditioned to be ready for battle at any moment?
Many former soldiers undergo waking or sleeping nightmares. They return to conflicts that they may have suffered while serving. They sit with their backs to entryways, aware that they need to see the clear paths from which danger may spring. Some deal with consuming anger that can erupt at any minute without warning. A friend of my husband’s father served in WWII and attempted to choke his wife while he was asleep…reliving the horror of serving in the Pacific.
War is never pretty or tied up in a neat package of patriotism like people see in movies. The effects of war linger throughout history and influence the present from the past…no matter how we may try to pretend that doesn’t happen.
So why do Christians negate the battles that we undergo every day?
We are warriors…whose very heart puts us at odds with the world on a daily basis. Choosing to follow Christ puts us at odds with this early environment with which we live, for the earth is under the devil’s control.
Just as a soldier has his weapons at hand, God has given us our resource for oru combat. Ephesians 6:18-20-Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perserverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul in his earlier writing in this chapter, details the armour Christians need to fight the enemy. Now he is giving us the ‘big gun’ finish.
Power to be bold when we have ‘battle fatigue’. Power to cling to each other as ambassadors for our faith. Power to be bold when we are disappointed with other Christians and their behavior by remembering our agreements, not our differences.
Twila Paris did a wonderful song called: THE WARRIOR IS A CHILD. (Look up the lyrics alone and you will find strength) for she reminds us that deep down, no matter how much we may appear as Amazons for Christ on the outside, inside we are children with childish faith that needs the reaffirming love God provides.
Each day brings a different battle…battles which many times bring us to our knees and that is when we must remove our masks and ask for help from God and others to pray, persevere, and immerse ourselves in Scripture, asking God to give us the power to rise up again.