As much as I love to write, I often struggle to know what to say on days like today. I know a real thank you does go a long way, because I’ve been on the receiving end of such gratitude. But, other thank yous feel, well, trite. And I never want to be trite.
But it always works to go to Scripture. So, here I go.
I’ve been spending a little extra time in Hebrews 11 on a work related project. (Yes, that just makes me happy.) Especially Hebrews 11:1. And for today, verse two fits as well.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. Hebrews 11:1-2 NASB
There is so much packed into these two verses. So much depth. So much confidence. So much truth. Just a short couple of lines leading into a narrative of that action of men and women who simply had faith.
In all honesty, when I think of veterans and their service, I think of faith and the approval “men of old” gained through it.
Now, I know not all veterans are Christians. And even some who are didn’t go into service thinking of faith in Christ as much as service to country. But, they all walked in with an assurance of something. An assurance that they had a job to do. Whether drafted or volunteer, enlisted or officer, short-term or career, they had a job. And they had to trust in the bigger picture of that job, knowing they were just a small part of the whole.
That is our faith, too. A picture of the whole. A knowledge that we have a small part in the bigger plan of our Creator God. A hand in the redemption we are assured of.
As Christians, we can learn so much from our veterans. We can learn how to obey. We can learn how to give our all. We can learn how to walk in with abandon, whether or not we are certain of the specific outcome. And, we can learn to walk with a continued camaraderie, identifying with our fellow “soldiers” even in those times when our service roles are not as active.
Paul himself used the picture of a soldier multiple times as he taught churches how to follow Christ. As we thank our veterans, we can do the same. Let’s thank them not only for their sacrifice and service to our country, but also for their example to us. Their living display of how we as Christians should stand together in our spiritual battles.
So, veterans, thank you. We owe you much more than I can express. We learn more from you than we’ll ever realize. May we honor you not only with our verbal thanks, but also by following your example as we live our lives and grow in our faith, persevering as soldiers of the Cross.