At seventeen, and too young, Dad lied to join the Army.
Within months he’d found himself a gunnery sergeant leading men through hand-to-hand combat with the Japanese. Blown off a hill by a mortar and then later shot through the neck by a sniper, Dad knew his decision to serve could take his life. Still he chose to serve.
My brother, a Naval veteran, rubbed his fingers around the rough wool collar of Dad’s uniform as he began to recount what few choice memories Dad shared of his time in the Pacific Theatre. Neither of us expected such a wave of emotion. The decision to move Mom into assisted living brought the task of emptying her house contents into storage. When I reached into the far corner of the closet and pulled out Dad’s Army greens, we were taken back. Dad had survived WWII, but he couldn’t outlive cancer.
Jesus knew full well that those who chose to follow Him would also be in danger. He clearly expressed that to His disciples many times. Even in His warnings, He offered the encouragement of the promises of God. Their service…their being a servant…would not go unnoticed by the Father. God would honor them. Any one of Jesus’ inner circle could have walked away at any time, yet they chose to follow. Chose to serve. Chose a life that could easily be snuffed out because of their faith.
In a time when the service of our military men and women seems so unappreciated, these faithful servants choose to stand guard over a selfish people. Like the disciples who walked with Jesus, they understand their lives are in danger and that their service could take the life they cherish.
Choosing to follow Christ is a decision placed before us all. Our lives may not be in danger in this country due to our faith, but there are lives elsewhere who suffer the ultimate price to be His servant.
On this Memorial Day weekend, be intentional to recognize our men and women of the military. Remember also, those individuals who fight an equally hard battle to be God’s servants. Remind them their sacrifice is not wasted. Honor them for God will surely do the same.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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