Black Hawk Down VS. Life

“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.

In Black Hawk Down Major General William F. Garrison commanded that no one was to fire unless fired upon.

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!

The Sustainer

So many things can happen in a single day: a wedding, a birth, a death, a terrorist attack, a promotion, or a life altering injury. The list goes on… Each event, each season we walk through can be similar to another person’s, but for each person it is unique.

My personality, my perception, my emotions will not be identical to yours. We are created, uniquely, and sustained, uniquely.

I’ve been thinking about the God’s sustaining power. No matter what anyone of us face, He is able to sustain us. This doesn’t mean we won’t shed tears. Or that we won’t be heartbroken, or we won’t experience the range of emotions each season, and trial brings. It does mean that He will sustain us through it.

 “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” Psalm 54:4 NIV

The Greek word for is: Camak. Which means: to lean, rest, support, put, uphold, lean upon, brace oneself, sustain, refresh, revive.

It means that when life is too overwhelming, we can draw on Jesus’ strength. He is the one who helps us stay the course. He is the one that lifts our head. He holds us up when the load of life seems crushing to our fragile bodies, and fragile souls.

Often times, in the midst of our trials, suffering, and heartache, we don’t feel much. The only feeling we experience is desperation. Like a marathon runner, who is only at mile twelve, whose hit a physical wall. And, there are still 14.2 miles left to run. We begin doubting whether we will be able to finish the race set before us.

But it’s when we come through the other side and think, “I don’t know how I made it”, we see it was God’s hand sustaining us. God’s hand guiding us. God’s hand holding us.

It’s the times when we feel as though we have no strength. The times we’re running low on hope, and feel as though we are empty. It is then, that God wants to prove his sustenance to you.

Many times, hardships come into our lives to show us God is able. God is willing. His love for us is greater than any heartache we experience. Our wounds are deep, but His love is deeper. It is in the times of deep despair that we find a comfort unlike any comfort the world could offer.

It is almost as if God kneels down beside our fetal curled body and holds us. He catches the tears. He holds us so close those broken pieces stay in place. He, the God of heaven and earth, cares for our hurts, pains, and wounds. He may not give us the answers to our question, but He gives us His presence in the midst of our worlds crashing down.

He is the Sustainer of our lives. He is the one who carries our biggest heartaches, but also our daily burdens. He will fight for us when we are unable to fight. He gives grace when our souls feel marred beyond recognition.

So if this is a season of great loss, deep disappointment, or life changing pain, remember, you are on alone. Let the tears come. Let the hurt out.

We have a heavenly Father who is beside us and is not afraid of those ugly cries. He is not afraid of our deepest wounds. He is our Sustainer and is the Lifter of our weary head. Hold on dear friend, and even if you can’t, He is still holding on to you, and will never let you go.