2 Timothy 2:1-4
My wife, Carrla & I currently make our home very close to the largest military base in the Free World: Fort Hood, Texas. As a result of that proximity as well as our relationship with many current and retired military personnel, I’ve been thinking recently about the duties and challenges of a soldier.
Today I find myself 10,000 miles from home, in a part of the world where the spiritual battles are seemingly endless. The indigenous pastors and Christian leaders that my associate Mahlon & I serve are regularly harassed, often persecuted openly and sometimes lose their worldly goods or even their very lives for one reason: They serve the Living Christ.
My struggles are so tiny compared to theirs, yet here I sit in a comfy home in SakaharaNagar, feeling sorry for myself because I miss my wife so much (no guys, this isn’t about “marital relations”, it’s about missing the presence of my best friend, companion, partner & yes, lover).
There have been times in our almost 34 years of marriage that we have struggled, but the past few years we have been closer than ever, which makes the times when we are apart so hard.
There have been some critics out there who claim that a Christian man should never be separated from his wife for extended periods of time. It makes me wonder if they hold natural soldiers to the same standard? Soldiers around the world regularly leave for battle returning in 6 months to 2 years! Difficult? Yes! Unnecessary? Hardly! While the natural soldier’s war is often (not always) just, this battle for the souls of men is infinitely more important. This is rescuing men, women & children from the yawning jaws of Hell itself. From eternal separation from God.
Thankfully, my incredible wife “gets it” and you know what…it even helps her to minister to and encourage her students and their moms who have a loved one overseas. And if we weren’t walking in unity and agreement regarding our temporary “separation”, I would be home with her as she is my most precious calling.
He calls me to “Go!”, and I am compelled by Love to do what I can, when I can, where I can. The leaders whom we serve are those who are weary of the battle. They need to be encouraged, sometimes exhorted, equipped and empowered to reach the ones that I will never even see until eternity.
Time is short. The call is urgent.
In the words of Keith Green:
“Oh Lord, you said the harvest was great,
But Lord, looks like the workers are late.
It’s getting hard to understand,
How they ignore your great command.
Here am I, send me,
though you said the ones who labor are few,
Still my heart hears the call,
and I wanna give it all to you.
Oh, to reach the ones nobody does,
Give up my pride and even work in the mud,
I wanna be like those who spilled their blood,
And gave it like water to you.”
And so I press on, to delight to do the will of the One who loved me enough to take my place and atone for my sins, who is also the Captain of The Lord of Hosts. You may call Him Jesus the Christ, Jesu Christo, Isa al-Masih, or Yeshua Ha-Mashiah.
I call Him both my friend who sticks closer than a brother, my Captain and my coming King.
My precious Carrla, God willing I’ll see you again in mid-April..if not, then in eternity. And for eternity!
p.s. Mahlon says,”Exchange Camp Ederle, Italy for Ft. Hood, Texas and exchange Elizabeth for Carrla, then DITTO”.
p.p.s. Please remember all four of us in your prayers.
2 Timothy 2:1-4
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”