Originally Posted by Mike Young June 2006
We have just celebrated our nation’s independence for the 230th consecutive year. For many of us, it’s just a day off… a day for picnics, family gatherings and fireworks.
It really should be a time for us to reflect on the commitments and sacrifices of many brave souls who fought for our freedom throughout our country’s history.
I have a friend, Jim Treisler who teaches history at a local high school. He’s challenging his students to better understand the sacrifices of war through an incredible project that involves collecting letters from soldiers and families during World War II. You can read about this project on the class’s website: http://www.ittookawar.com. I found this paragraph in a letter from a soldier, Sid Wells, to his girlfriend. It was written on December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Here’s a direct link to the letter: http://www.ittookawar.com/Wells/Wells411208.htm
Darling I saw something today that I will remember as long as I live. There were about thirty or forty of us laying around or sitting around the Pay Room listening to the President’s speech. When it was over they played the star spangled banner. You should have seen that room, as a single man we all rose and in some eyes there were tears of emotion. If you or anyone else could have seen those faces you would never worry about the outcome of this war. There is a grim determination, the likes of which I have never seen, in every face. Yesterday this life was a game today it is real. You would never think it was the same place. Orders are obeyed with a snap and there is the feeling we have a job to do. Let’s get it done.
That passage inspires me. This young man realized that life for him and his buddies was no longer a game…it was real. The attack on Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt’s inspiring speech had changed and motivated him. Do you get the sense that in some ways, yesterday he was a boy, but from this point forward he would face life as a man? A determined man.
Even now, our forces are engaged in a military conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, we must also remember that spiritual war is ongoing throughout our land. We should develop a mentality like this young soldier.
Life is not a game, it’s real; and we are in a war. The spiritual battles we face are even more deadly than those the young soldier would endure.
Our enemy is clever, deceptive and elusive. We need to be constantly reminded of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12, 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.
Satan is real and active. If we’re going to win the battle we need to study his tactics. Here are a couple of things to watch out for:
- Paul told us that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. II Corinthians 11:14 So, beware the prince of this world camouflages himself with light to confuse and distract us.
- John told us that He is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 Beware, Satan will use lies and deceit to lull you into his traps.
But, do not despair; God is at work in our world as well. However, many men have been laying around watching and listening but not responding. Will you wake up and look for something God is doing near you and join Him with the determination of this young soldier? Get up and join this Kingdom battle for the souls of others, especially your family.
Life is not a game, it’s real. We have a job to do. Let’s get it done.
Check out the video of Mike sharing this letter on December 7, 2016.