War changes lives.
As we honor veterans today, I’m sure each and every one of us can think of ways that we see the effects of war on the veterans we love. The effects may vary, but the imprint is still there. Many of them had seen that same imprint on someone else before they made the decision to serve. That makes the service all the more powerful. They might not have fully known what they were getting into, but they had a glimpse – and they chose it anyway.
When I read Scripture and look at the lives of faithful heroes throughout history, I see the same reality. Christians who have truly walked with the Lord through the thick of the spiritual battle in which we live bear the marks of veterans of the faith. Will we walk in their footsteps?
Few truly desire war. It would be much easier to serve in a time of true peace, never seeing combat. It would be easier to live prepared but never engaged. But reality reminds us that such a life is not possible. We live in a fallen world. War is inevitable until the Prince of Peace returns to judge and redeem the world.
War in the spiritual realm is different in that it is constant. A country may step out of war for a time, but a Christian never does. We are continually standing on the battleground. Unfortunately, we are not always armed to fight. Many of the worst wounds of the spiritual battles come from not being trained, prepared, and properly armed. We are guaranteed ultimate victory, but we are not guaranteed every single battle. How will we fight?
As we honor and thank veterans today, may we allow their lives to serve as a reminder of the war we fight. May we allow their faithfulness and sacrifice to spur us on to faithfulness as well. May we train as they did, preparing ourselves to be properly armed and ready. And may we see the imprint of war upon them and be motivated to wear our own imprint proudly, no matter what scars it boasts.
Thank you, veterans!