A few weeks ago I attended a tribute to the Veterans who served in WWII and Korea. My Father-in-law served in Korea and was wounded twice. What I hadn’t known was that he was a sergeant. I was completely surprised by that revelation. I have known him for over 40 years and didn’t have a clue as to his military rank.
I sat in a room filled with men and women who had faced something I will never have to experience. I registered for the draft when I turned 18 but was spared serving in the military when the draft was closed. There is no way for me to understand what those men and women experienced who have been or are involved in the responsibility of securing the freedom of others and protecting our freedoms.
Those returning home were expected to change from warriors to civilians simply by changing out the clothes they wore. No one was “de-griefed”. No one offered them the opportunity to grieve the horrors of war. Many who served in the war lost more than we, who have never been exposed to their losses, can comprehend. Most of those who felt the heat of battle, who saw their friends killed and who had to kill, carry within themselves losses we do not understand.
The men and women who had found themselves in impossible wartime situations tried to return to the normality that was theirs before they left. But how do you return to any sense of normal when the essence of your heart and mind have been traumatized by things no one should ever be made to face?
As I sat at the table with my wife and her parents, we were joined by two other couples who also found themselves remembering how they were saved while their friends were not. I realized these men and women had gone into battle to protect the freedom of people they didn’t know. They weren’t fighting on the soil of this nation. They were packed off to foreign countries and given the responsibility of maintaining the freedom of complete strangers. It wasn’t protecting their own homes and families which caused them to fight. It was an enemy who threatened the liberty of others.
There are many attitudes hanging around about the appropriateness of serving as a warrior, for that is exactly what you become when you put on the uniform of the military. Those who have chosen to become warriors are guarding our freedom and the freedom of others. The training they receive prepares them to be disciplined, a discipline that allows them to function when they face an enemy whose goal is to kill them.
What does this have to do with Grace in Process? Just this, we still have men and women who’ve served or are serving in foreign countries, laying down their lives for people who at times hate them. Jesus chose to enter the dynamics of this world as one of us, a human being. He chose to give His life for a people who hated Him then and even hate Him today.
He became a Warrior in a sense we are not able to take in or comprehend. And even though He knew many would reject the sacrifice He offered, He did what had to be done. His sacrifice guaranteed life in place of death, peace in place of confusion, a joy to replace mourning, comfort where pain has existed before, and love to remove fear!
I found myself moved to tears as I listened to the names of those who were honored that day for their heroism, character, courage, and willingness to do what had to be done. We owe much to those who’ve given themselves in fighting to guarantee the freedoms of not only of this nation but of other nations, each occupied by human beings. I think at times it is too easy to forget what freedom has cost. For freedom has never been free; the price paid for it has always been high.
I wonder, if asked, how many of those who have been the warriors would say it was worth the price they paid. I know One who has said it was worth the price He paid for our freedom! Even knowing there would still be those who would reject what He did and what He offers, He made the sacrifice.
Only this remains, what will you or I chose to do knowing we owe a huge debt to our military and to our Creator. Will we honor our military men and women or reject them as they may struggle with the price they paid for you, for me, and for others? An even greater question is this, will you accept the Grace offered and purchased by the One who created you and me? It is something worth pondering as you continue to enjoy your freedom!
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” Romans 6:14 New Living Testament