I love movies with huge open field battles. You know, like The Patriot, 300, and Lord of the Rings. It’s good versus bad times ten thousand. One side lines up on a hilltop facing the opposition who line up on the other, both waiting with weapons in hand, hearts pounding in unison so loud it shames even thunder. The commanders each raise their battle cries and it’s a full on run to trade blows. Blood and sweat mix as each gives everything he has not only to survive, but to conquer.
The musical score begins to slow as the battle fades into a few skirmishes until none are left standing save the victors, and the bad guys are turning tail and running for their mommies.
Here is the moment when the heroes, chests heaving from exhaustion, survey the battlefield. Tears of joy and sorrow fall.
Amidst the fallen enemies are their fathers, their brothers, their sons. Many lie dead, others maimed, but in the midst of their anguish is victory! Their losses are not in vain. For at least that day, evil is vanquished and the air carries the bittersweet taste of freedom.
Sometimes I look around the church and I see pain, sickness, and brokenness. I ask, “Why God? Are these not your people, your children?”
He answers, “Yes, they are. We wage a war against the incredible foes of the flesh and the devil, and many are wounded and crushed in the battle. But be comforted, because after their pain, after their sorrow, even after their loss there is victory. It has not been in vain. Though it may not be their lot to hold high the Banner of the Prince of Peace on the field of victory, their legacy is that they have made the way for those after them. They have shown that the cause is worthy and the price of their lives a bargain.”
So be encouraged, “This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15)”