“Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up the cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
I live in a part of southern Virginia that has a large military population. Every day, I see men and women in uniform who are giving their lives for me, for my family and friends, for all of us. Yet they don’t even know me. These brave heroes pick up their cross daily, they sacrifice their lives for their country. These soldiers go where they are told to go, do what they are told to do and they do it daily. There have been 2,372 military deaths in the War on Afghanistan as of July 27, 2018. The number of wounded soldiers is 20,320. A Congressional Research report dated May 20, 2019 says 16,652 military personnel and reservists have died in military campaigns since 2006. All while I’ve been living my life of freedom as a civilian here in the United States.
If we’re going to spend time talking about giving more than you receive, we need to honor our fallen heroes who gave all. We are able to have this Facebook group because of their sacrifice. We get to go to whatever church we want to on Sunday mornings because they protect our religious freedom. We can vote for who we want, we can criticize who we want, because of these men and women. I do not come from a military family. Two of my brothers served in the Navy during the Vietnam war. My father-in-law did two tours during the Vietnam war, missing the birth of his second child. When my mother-in-law was declining with Alzheimer’s there were two things she remembered at the end: her life growing up as a child and the two years she was alone in America with two small children, by herself, as her husband served his country half a world away.
The soldiers are not the only ones who give all, their spouses and families do as well. I recently met a new friend who is retired military. She was telling me, her and her husband spent the first three years of their marriage separated because of the military. She didn’t think they were ever going to live together as normal married people do every day. We take all of this for granted as we go about our daily lives. These soldiers, these families daily pick up their cross and serve our country, and serve us. There is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for another (John 15:13 NIV). In this moment, let’s all bow our heads and pray for our military. Thanking God for all they do for us and our country. When we think about giving more than we receive, let’s think about them.