“Good luck, and be careful.” Their commanding officer said as they headed out on their mission.
They went in thinking they’d be on their way in 30 minutes.
Little did they know it would be one of the most grueling 15-hour-fight many of them had ever seen. They essentially had stirred up a hornets’ nest. Many of their fellow men would be coming home in body bags.
After so many lost life you’d think the outcome was a success. However, Nothing changed that day. Yet, so many men walked away changed, forever.
I watched Black Hawk Down partly because I just finished a book by Dr. Nik Ripken called The Insanity of God. Nik was an aid worker in Somalia before (and after) the UN sent troops in.
It was hard to watch, but It got me thinking.
The spiritual life is a battle. We are in a war that has already been won, but we still have to do our part. We are soldiers in the midst of a very dark world. We receive fire from a very real enemy.
How many times in life have you been doing life and suddenly you realize you’re being fired upon? Your kid gets bullied, your spouse leaves, your health plummets, you’re falsely accused, you or your family are victimized, a natural disaster hits, you or your loved one get caught in a “random act of violence”, your house floods, your car gets totaled, you get fired.
All of a sudden, nothing matters anymore. You are in shock, watching and hearing bullets whiz by your head. You knew this could happen, but maybe you thought It wouldn’t really be like this. You knew there “would be trouble” but this is not the trouble you foresaw.
You’re scared. You hate it. You want to get out, but you’re in the thick of it, and the only options you have left is to leave your fellow soldiers and be labeled AWOL or fight.
As this battle rages in your mind, you see one of your fellow comrades drop to the ground snapping you back to reality…. NO, you scream. Heart pounding, anger pouring through your veins. They will pay…
You pick up your gun and you blast the area where the bullets came from…The bullets that claimed the life of your friend…
We may not be facing literal bullets, but we are in a battle. There’s no denying it.
After experience a very hard “battle” I had someone say to me, “Christi, what you experience was friendly-fire. Instead of helping you, they left you to bleed out” Have you ever felt as though you’re bleeding out? You feel like your life is draining out of you?
In battle, we need our fellow comrades. We need them to cover us to get to shelter. And we need to cover them so they can get to shelter. As we are being fired on from multiple directions, we need someone at our back. If we are hit we need someone to drag us to a safer place. After being hit, sometimes you have to keep going. And other times, you need a medevac to get you out to recoup.
Each battle you and I face is different. Because there is another training God wants to teach us.
During the battle for Mogadishu, the US soldiers hid out in buildings trying to hold their position. As I was watching this movie I thought of how sometimes, even if it’s just for a little while, God is that shelter for us. If we go in deep enough we can catch a short break and recoup a little bit. Sometimes, in the middle of a life battle, we come across a song or a passage of scripture and holding on to that gives us the courage to press on.
So whatever your battle may be, make sure you’re not fighting It alone. You and I desperately need each other and we desperately need God’s strength and the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Stand your ground. Guard your fellow soldiers back. Be strong and courageous.
Song of the Week: Shelter , by Carrollton
NOTE: For those of you who are in the military and have served, I want to say that I am deeply grateful for your service. I also cannot fathom all that you have endured and I do not want to make light of the war zone and how horrific things are on the front lines. Watching this movie helped me keep in perspective that we are in a spiritual battle. I hope that what I wrote was not disrespectful in any way. And once again, thank you for your service!