The idea of war is pretty frightening to me. I am blessed to have grown up in a generation without war. Desert Storm was the most heated conflict in my lifetime thus far. I remember going on vacation and coming back to sluggish brown water coming out of our taps. I was 12 and terrified that chemical warfare had arrived on our doorstep. My mom spent hours of her life soothing me with the lesson that a back up of minerals in our faucets and pipes after a long break can cause tinted water for a short time. Whew. I could sleep again.
What about war is at the heart of my fears, or dare I say our fears. I know I’m not the only one. It’s scary stuff and we’re not even living it right now. Killing, destruction, domination, fighting…all these words come to mind when I think of war. What comes to your mind? This may be an anxiety producing exercise, but I think it’s worth it. We need to be able to sit with the reality for just a little, in order for it to lose it’s grip on us. War is and will be a reality on this Earth. We are simply removed from it for a time.
Ecclesiastes 3:8 reminds us that there will be “a time for war, a time for peace.”
Jesus instructs us to be realistic in Matthew 24:1-13. It’s not a cheerful passage, but it is truth. And we can remind ourselves of who is speaking as we read it. An all powerful Savior. Picture Him speaking directly to you as you read below:
There will be wars and rumors of wars. There just will. This is the beginning of the birth pains.
Is it possible that, as Christians, we can praise the Lord even for this? For war?
We live with one foot in one world and one foot in another. I remember, on our honeymoon, we visited the Four Corners region. Every tourist was chomping at the bit, myself included, to have their picture taken with their feet in two “places” at once. Sisters, we already are! We live as eternal people, given eternal life now. We have one foot planted in the reaches of eternity, where time is endless, tears cease, and peace reigns. But we do not have two feet there. We are still called to live here, where fighting and wars are real, where people hurt and give pain. Ecclesiastes and Jesus’s words in Matthew remind us that all this junk is purposeful. It leads us to something…namely, Him.
There will be a time when we live with two feet firmly planted on completely restored soil. Our bodies whole and perfect. Our hearts and minds linked inexplicably with Him, in a way we only know in part now.
The beauty of studying the Hebrew is that we begin to see a little more of the fullness of God’s Word. I found two passages that I am just giddy to share. They share the same Hebrew root as the word for war in Ecclesiastes 3:8. Bask in the beauty of it with me.
Exodus 15:3 –
The Lord! The Lord is a warrior. He is mighty in battle. All the wars and rumors of wars that swirl around us. They are nothing to the victory that will be God’s Son revealed in majesty at the Restoration. He is so Good!
There is a time for war. The Bible tells us so, as much as we’d like to escape it. God tells us it is purposeful. It brings Him, in the flesh, reigning forever, that much closer to us. Until then we fight daily in the battle with Satan for the dear souls of those we love around us. Because he just doesn’t give up. But neither does our Savior, and He has a secret that Satan knows but won’t accept- He’s already won the victory.
I’m looking forward to that two-feet-one-place day. Oh imagine it! Until then…standing in the victory, when anxiety threatens, remember, the time for war – even this is in His hands.
What wars/conflicts or threats of wars do you remember in your lifespan?
What do you think the scariest part of war is for people?
How does knowing Jesus has already won the victory make the reality of war a different thing for us?