This week was Memorial Day here in the United States. Every year at this time we like to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices the heroes in our armed forces have made over the decades to keep us safe from harm and to protect our freedom. For most of us, we will never be able to fully appreciate or comprehend the extent to which these selfless individuals gave of themselves for us, but the least we can do is thank them and offer our prayers for them.
It takes an incredible strength and quality of character for a person to face the possibility of going into war and putting their life on the line for others, especially when your possible death is
mostly for the benefit of people you have never met. John 15:13 reads: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jesus himself sacrificed his life for the
freedom of his friends, his family and all the people of the earth for all time. The sacrifice our nation’s soldiers give is not dissimilar, and shows a great amount of love. Another passage, Psalm 116:15 offers comfort with the line “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Losing a loved one, especially during times of war, is absolutely devastating. But we know God’s love for these soldiers’ overflows, as they are giving of themselves for the freedom of others. The soldiers who have sacrificed themselves are certainly being honored in God’s kingdom. Another verse from Psalms, Psalm 34:18, reads “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.” This verse is particularly geared toward those who grieve after the loss of a loved one. Memorial Day is all about remembrance, and remembering can be painful, especially when the loss is still near. But when our hearts are hurting the most, which is when God is the closest to us. Spend some time in prayer this Memorial Day or this week, and visit a cemetery or memorial. You will feel God’s presence. Thank you again to those who serve and have served our country, and especially to those who we honor this Memorial Day.