War Stories

The other night our youngest daughter and her boyfriend came for supper. Pot roast and a Boston Cream Pie that he had made from scratch … good food, lots of laughter, and endless stories. He’s a quiet young man, and we took advantage of his willingness to listen to flood him with countless tales of adventures and misdeeds from our collective pasts. Bless his heart, he probably learned more about us than he ever cared to know. But we’re like that when we all get together. With God’s help, we made it through another week. We were together. And that was cause to celebrate.

Later as everyone settled down to watch a movie, I started thinking about the kind of impression we must be making on this young man. Every time he sees us together we are laughing and acting a bit crazy. Our laughter over the past must have appeared to him like we go through life not taking anything seriously. Do you ever wonder how the world views you? I don’t generally let other’s opinions alter me too much, but before they left I felt a need to clarify some things for him.

With each story there was an event or "adventure” that was more often than not filled with struggles, enormous stress, and plenty of tears. Separately, and together, we’ve fought battles real and imagined, and with God’s help we didn’t just survive the battles, but we came away stronger and maybe a tad bit wiser. As is the custom of soldiers throughout the ages, we have our battle scars and war stories. We share these stories among ourselves as a reminder that God’s grace saw us through and His guidance can be trusted to lead us on. Many people choose to bury their pasts behind walls of mundane normalcy. I call it monotone living. They choose to smooth over or forget the heartbreaks and tragedies as well as make light of the glorious highs that come with victory. When asked to share examples of what Jesus has done for them, many respond with only a monotone “He saved me from hell”. Praise God! That’s a great START! We serve a mighty King. In doing so, this makes us soldiers of Christ. There’s not a one of us who doesn’t fight battles on a regular basis. Folks, there is victory in Jesus! Celebrate His blessings frequently and share your war stories freely. We can learn a lesson from the warriors throughout the ages … in the sharing, we are reminded of not only our purpose here but of the awesomeness of our King. And in the sharing, we are solidifying ourselves together as brothers & sisters in the Lord. There is strength in numbers … the Bible says so “Where two or more are gathered…”

In my thinking, trying to be a Christian without the fellowship of other Saints is a lot like playing in the Superbowl and you’re facing off against seasoned professionals all by yourself. Satan and his demons have been around awhile. They’ve had plenty of experience smacking Christians around. We need the Lord and we need each other to win victory. Then we need to celebrate & tell others just how awesome it is to be a child of God!

Have a great Lord’s day and may the Lord bless you!

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