By Beth Patch
Before Bill went to fight in Iraq, he had a satisfying full-time job as an electrician with the same company for 25 years. His children were mostly out of the nest and he and his wife were looking forward to their retirement years.
After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, middle-aged Bill joined the Virginia Army National Guard. He knew it could mean he’d be called to serve overseas if there were a need, but it seemed unlikely since the reserves had not been called up for war since World War II. It was shocking for his family when he left for the war in Iraq and was gone for 18 months.
When he returned in 2005, he was welcomed home a courageous and radically changed man who had lived through horrible events.
He still struggles with the memories of all the evil, death, and danger. It shook his being so drastically that he has severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) along with physical pain from his injuries. He’s not able to return to work and has been deemed totally disabled. . . So, for Bill and all other war veterans, a national holiday is hardly enough to show you our gratitude and respect. We can’t undo anything you’ve been through, but we can do what the Bible tells us to do – pray for you and love you.
King David, who commanded armies and trusted in the Lord during times of battle, wrote these words in Psalms 3:
“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”
Some may question how God can allow the tragedies witnessed in war. This much is true: murder and strife came with the fall of mankind, Cain killed Abel, wars fill the pages of scripture, and God’s chosen people hated and crucified His only son, Jesus Christ. But despite the evil deeds of mankind, God still showers people with love (John 3:16) and offers us eternal life with Him.
May we all feel the supernatural love of Christ to help us through times we still can’t make sense of and to guide us into His precious peace that surpasses all understanding.