This weekend we drove up to North Carolina. My youngest son, Brent, was being deployed to Afghanistan. It seemed like just yesterday he was playing war with little plastic soldiers on the living room floor. Now he is the soldier in a war across the sea. No games. The real deal.
On the way up to say goodbye, memories of him as a little child flooded my mind. He never wanted to put his hand in his food like most babies or finger paint like many toddlers. He never liked to get dirty. Now he will be lucky to shower once a week. Unlike many young children, Brent loved his sleep. Friends would complain that their 2 year old wouldn’t take a nap and Brent would sleep 3 or 4 hours. Now he will go hours and perhaps days without sleep. As a child, Brent loved to eat. Anything that came his way. Now he will eat military issued meals in a plastic bag.
But, Brent has been well prepared for the battle ahead. He has been through many months of long training. When they are not being sent off to war, they are continually preparing for battle. They practice firing their weapons, so when the time comes that they really need to shoot, they are prepared. They go through psychological training so that if they are captured by the enemy, they are as mentally prepared as possible. They are armed with the weapons they will need for the fight. Machine gun, helmet, bullet proof jackets, night goggles, steel toed boots and on and on. A full suit of armor.
Many times, the young Marines would complain about the constant training they had to do. But those who are over them; those with first hand experience in war, know that their very life or the lives of others is dependent on their training.
God wants us to be in constant training. To read His word, to study, to practice, to prepare ourselves for battle. For the battles will come. They might not be overseas. They might just be right here in our own home. An enemy named loneliness, worry, illness or disease, loss of job, loss of a home, rebellious children, aging parents....
God has given us the weapons and a full suit of armor for our battle. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of battle comes you may be able to stand your ground. “ (Ephesians 6:13)
What will we do with them? When the time comes, will we be ready? Will we know how to use them? Our life or the lives of others could very well depend on it.
If you are in the midst of a battle right now, I encourage you to pull out the weapons God has given you for the fight. Arm yourself. Start with His Word. Open it up. Read it. Draw strength from it. You don’t have to battle alone. God is more than capable of handling any enemy that comes your way!