Recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have left more than 1,100 major burn victims and 1,700 amputees among the nearly 50,000 combat casualties, and about 400,000 troops or veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, mild traumatic brain injury or both. – USATODAY
I was just reading an article about Tony Porta. Tony was a Marine Corporal that was severely burned – lost his face, nose, ears, right arm, fingers – need I say more? As he recently walked through a store, a man asked him “was it worth it?”
I don’t write about politics or physical war so switch this question and the statistics to our spiritual war. How many people do you know that have been burned, lost limbs, or suffered stress disorders from the spiritual battles that rage every day? “Is it worth it?” I wonder if at times Jesus has the same question. But then I remember that He loves us unconditionally and yes, it was worth it. We will lose battles. We will suffer injuries. But it is worth it because we have won the war AND because Jesus loves us more than we will ever be able to imagine!
When Tony looked in the mirror for the first time he said “who will love me now?” I hope Tony knows that Jesus loves him . . .
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We all watch the tragedies happening around the world – earthquakes, war, terrorists. The news media always informs us of the number that died and the number that was wounded.
The death tolls are always the main focus. The wounded are secondary. Although death is certainly final and unfair in these situations, it is the wounded that I always reflect on. Last week after the Boston bombing, the news media said there 219 wounded in hospitals. Later I heard 160. What happened to them? Were they life threatening wounds or superficial?
What is wounded? It is a broad group – anyone with a cut to the people who lost limbs. In all those reports, we don’t know how serious the wounds are. Personally I can’t imagine losing a limb while standing on a public street. I’m not saying that I would rather die but that drastically changes one’s life forever!
We are all wounded. Some of us have been bullied. Some of us have been abused. Some have lost loved ones. Some suffer from physical or mental ailments. We all hurt to some degree. Some of us have lost limbs and some of us have cuts but we have all been wounded. Where will we get our healing? Where will we get comfort? What will inspire us to fight through rehab? Will we get back in the race?
Be the hands of Jesus today and help the wounded around you. If you are wounded, allow Jesus to bring comfort to you.
Psalm 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Our son Isaiah spent a month in theYouthInterventionCenter (a nice name for juvenile jail) last summer. As we approached the center to visit we couldn’t help noticing the attractive exterior – large windows, brick, metal roof and very tidy landscaping. I wondered if this side of the building housed offices – it is odd to have large windows without bars on a jail. During our visit we asked Isaiah what his cell was like. He explained that he had a very narrow window that was only about 2 inches wide and it didn’t open. I thought his cell must be on the other side of the building and I drove around the back to see if I could see these small windows. The entire exterior had large unprotected windows.
At the next visit I asked him again about his windows. He said that he was looking out the front of the building where the parking lot was. I couldn’t figure out how this could be. He finally explained that those large windows on the outside are fake. They are just there to make the building look nice on the outside. Inside the exterior wall is another wall where the “true” windows were. They are actually very narrow windows that the prisoners could see through but not escape out of. They couldn’t be opened and he really couldn’t get a feel for the weather outside.
What does this have to do with you and me? I felt led to encourage you to throw open your windows as wide as they will go and let God’s rays shine in on you. I also sensed that it is a time to shout out. To declare God’s Kingdom over the land. It’s time to take back what has been stolen. It is time to set the prisoners free so that they can also rejoice with their God and savior. We are being imprisoned with every taunt of the enemy – it feels like our kingdom is getting smaller and that we are being jailed. The opposite is true. Even though the oppressor is trying to stop us, our God wants our windows open and the praises to flow!
Give thanks, praise God, and declare His Kingdom. Time is short.
Daniel 6:9-11 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.