Monday, November 11, 2013

Knocking on Heaven's Door

From Lisa Buffaloe:

“When we seek God for answers, we must persevere in prayer, letting it build up day after day until the force of it becomes a mighty tide pushing over all obstacles.” ~ Jim Cymbala (page 102 Fresh Faith)

The image is "Remember Me" by Sgt. Shawn Cassatt.  That was a third place winner in the 2010 Army Digital Photography Contest.  Since today is Memorial Day in the US, Remembrance Day in other countries, the combination of the picture and the quote spoke volumes to me.

"There are no atheists in foxholes."  That's a statement attributed to one of several soldiers, all at the battle of Bataan in World War II.  And it was quoted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, when he was in office.  The statement itself is an oversimplification.  But it highlights an important truth.

There have been atheists and agnostics who, in the heat of battle, have tried prayer, "just in case". Mark Twain is sometimes quoted as saying something like, "If there is no God and we act as if there is, we have lost nothing.  But, if there is a God and we act as if there isn't, we have lost everything.". The reality of war or anything that places great stress on us is that we become very aware that there are things we can not possibly control.  At the same time, we recognize that there is less randomness in life than we usually suggest.  And we start looking toward He who controls all of that.

Martin Luther said, "Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.". The man (or woman) under great stress relies on that.  And, going back to what Jim Cymbala said, we can't necessarily toss out a quick request to God and assume that's enough.  As Deep Purple described it, we have to be "Knock, knock, knockin' at Your door".  We need to focus on God and His response.  Keep going to God until we know we've seen His answer, no matter what it might be.

That's a recognized reality for anyone under real stress.  Especially in the field of war.  Please remember those who've given limbs and lives to protect our lives and freedoms.

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