Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day

Daily Gratitude Year 7-Day 315: Today, I am grateful for Veterans Day. 

It is a day to celebrate the veterans of every branch of our armed forces. It is a chance to say "Thank you" for the many sacrifices made by these soldiers and their families. It is a day to remember that freedom isn't free. 

Military service changes the men and women who come together with the common goal of protecting our nation and the freedoms stated in our constitution. They protect and defend together, becoming brothers and sisters in arms. They are united in training and sacrifice with the desire to be apart of something bigger than themselves. They want to make a difference. 

Today, were remember Veterans Day on the 11th day of November because it was on November 11, 1918 the armistice was signed which ended the fighting in WW1. It was signed at 11am. Eleven eleven at 11:00am. (The Treaty of Versailles signed on June 28, 1919 officially ended WW1, but the armistice ended the fighting.) Countless lives were lost and many others were wounded beyond full recovery. Some had been prisoners of war. Most of them lived through illness, cold and hunger. The war-weary soldiers welcomed the possibility of rest and the return home. 

On November 11th, we don't forget those who were lost, but we take this day to pause and celebrate living veterans. Thanking them for their service is the theme of this day. It is perfect that this day of gratitude falls in November. 

The truth is, not every order a soldier is given makes sense. They have to trust that there is a bigger picture and they are a part of it. They have to trust their leadership and be willing to lay down their lives. 

Is it any wonder that the example of a soldier is given to help us understand the "full armor of Christ". Why are we surprised that Jesus made a special connection with the centurion soldier and was amazed at his faith? 

"And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” -Luke 7:6-9

Jesus was on a rescue mission that was going to cost him his life. A soldier always knows there are risks in serving. Jesus knew the sacrifice he chose led to the cross. He chose the nails for us... to spare each one of us the consequence of our sins. 

Heaven's special forces got the job done. Jesus could have called ten thousand angels, but he chose to be the perfect, without blemish, sacrificial lamb. He chose to be our atonement, our protection and our propitiation, appeasing God's need for justice. Our sin debt was marked "Paid in full". Our resurrected Lord banished our death sentence when he fought temptation, conquered death and won the victory. He purchased our freedom. In him, we have a new life and new marching orders.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." -Ephesians 6:13-15

Peace is better than war. As long as Satan roams free, there will be wars and rumors of wars. His day of reckoning is coming. Because there is evil, there is a need for justice. 

Today, I am grateful for those who take a stand against evil. I am grateful for those who share their food and clothes with hungry children and widows at home and in far away places. Some are serving in our armed forces.

Don't forget to thank them on this Veterans Day.  

Today, I am grateful for Veterans Day. 

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