As a refugee, then a soldier, then a police officer, I was always in awe of my husband and his strength and courage. And even more so of his willingness to use those qualities to defend and protect others. I never considered myself to have much moral courage. I certainly had no physical strength. I hadn’t really considered that to be much of a problem until I became a Christian.
In our courtship and marriage, we often talked about history and politics. We considered the reality of tyrants and dictators, of war and revolution, of prejudice and oppression. He had lived some of that, but I had only the experience of college textbooks and literature. It really wasn’t until I began living a Christian life that I realized that the likelihood of persecution, oppression or perhaps worse was truly a possibility, and during the End Times would be a probability. I often considered getting a cross tattoo on my wrist so that I could never deny Christ even if my weak flesh was tempted to.
Nearly thirty years later, I’ve led a pretty cushy life of comfort and convenience. My faith has not been tested or challenged much. I’ve had the freedom to teach all the Sunday School I want, attend all the Bible Studies I want, worship at all the Sunday services I want and more. I’ve had plenty of deteriorating national culture to bemoan without really advocating against it. I’ve had plenty of moral outrage without really challenging the system, or groups behind it. I’ve had plenty of frustration with soulless multinational corporations without boycotts or legal advocacy.
I regret that now. Today I see that I was complicit in allowing us to get where we are by not standing against it. And I know that the result would have been the same regardless, especially if we are, indeed, in the End Times. But I didn’t stand strong enough, or true enough to what I believe. I’ve been on guard, and watched it transpire without much of a fight.
Now, there are at least two major unjust wars raging. Our country may be pulled into them whether we want to be or not. If this is fulfilling End Time prophecy, then we can be assured that things will get worse, then better, then much worse, then wonderful. Somewhere in the middle we may all be raptured up to Heaven with Jesus. But even so, we better ‘gird up our loins’ and prepare for hardship and spiritual battle and perhaps actual battle. Times will be tough, and Christians will be persecuted as in Roman days. The world will hate on us, as it is now hating on the Jews, but fear not! Jesus has overcome the world!!!
I’ve watched first-hand the mental, physical and spiritual toughness of immigrants to our country who escaped tyranny and persecution, hardship and torture, war and oppression. They are resilient beacons of hope that life and love are possible even in the most desperate conditions. I’ve met those who’ve returned from war resolved to be peacemakers and find inner peace. As we celebrate Veteran’s Day, and the sacrifices of those who served, let us consider that we are all soldiers of Christ, and we have our ‘marching orders’ to fight the good fight on a rescue mission to save as many as ever we can.
Blessings of courage,