We enjoyed a good “family” Memorial Day. Christian and Bridget got up early to head to Boulder for the Bolder Boulder 10K race. Later in the day we were joined by Debbie’s sister Sue and husband Sam and my niece Kate and her boyfriend, David, along with his mother Karen and my mother. When grandchildren are around, you observe the older you get the more contrast you notice to the “energy” of youth.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “He will settle disputes among the nations and provide arbitration for many peoples. They will turn their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will never again train for war.” 2:4 HCSB
We can’t escape the fact that part of the curse is that disputes are often settle by violence and war rather than through peaceful means. It began when Cain killed Abel and it continues today. It is observed in conflicts between individual and conflicts between nations.
Except in the most twisted minds, war and aggression is at times a “necessary” evil. Former President General Dwight Eisenhower once said, “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dwight_d_eisenhower.html)
The well know poetry of Ecclesiastes states, “There is…a time for war and a time for peace.“ (Ecclesiastes 3:8 NIV) Wars and battles since the beginning of time have been sought to establish and defend territory, to ward of aggression and to ensure security and peace for people. It is of interest that the greatest period of peace that will ever be known is followed by a “war” and the defeat of the most ruthless force on the earth, “spiritual darkness.”
“Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army…Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.… I also saw the people who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God’s word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for 1,000 years.” (Revelation 19:19-20; 20:4 HCSB)
True peace in an individual life and among nations comes from the “Prince of Peace.” That is why Isaiah in a time of great conflict, violence and brutality, spoke of a day and a time when instruments of war will be used for instruments of peace. When that which would destroy is used for that which provides life and nourishment. A time when even “training for war” will not be necessary.
On this Memorial Day, we can be thankful for the thousands over the years who have answered the call. The call of defend, to be willing to lay down their lives to secure freedom and peace for our nation. We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We remember the lives lost in the defense of freedom and in an effort to secure peace. Their lives were lost in a time of hostility in order that a day when hostilities would cease would soon come.
I am thankful for the service of many friends and family members. Some like my father-in-law serving in a great time of conflict during World War II. I think of my brother and his military career, at the end of the Vietnam War. He was one of those who while serving during a mostly a time of peace, prepared for the battles that are being fought today.
It is with gratitude in our hearts that we value those who serve and have served. To never forget their sacrifice. To always cherish what we have, because of what they have done.
Prayer for Today…. “Lord we look to you as the One who is able to secure true peace and freedom. We see your hand in scripture and in history in times of war and in times of peace. We ask that you would guide us and our leaders into peace, while we honor those whose who have served and are vigilant to defend that peace which has been won at such a high cost. Comfort those who mourn, encourage those who serve and may you hasten the day when ‘they will never again train for war.'”