June 6, 2012
With us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles. 2 Chronicles 32:8
I just finished reading the May issue of Decision Magazine, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In it is an article about Operation Heal Our Patriots (OHOP), a part of Samaritan’s Purse, which is run by Billy Graham’s son Franklin.
OHOP is conducted out of Samaritan Lodge Alaska, a retreat adjacent to beautiful, remote Lake Clark National Park and Preserve (look at its photos and you’ll see what I mean). It’s a place for wounded soldiers and their spouses where trained staff ministers to their spiritual and physical needs.
I don’t know many people in the military, but this made me realize just how stressful life is for an active duty soldier’s family—frequent moves, sometimes out of the country, and multiple deployments, especially these days to Afghanistan. All of this creates hardship and stress for the spouse left behind—shouldering the brunt of the parenting, household tasks and often another job—and children, who change schools frequently. Then there’s the adjustment when the soldier comes home for everyone. The soldier also has to deal with the transition from military to home life, and possibly post-traumatic stress syndrome from being in a war zone.
So I’m thankful for this project where service members and their families can receive Biblically based counseling, and enjoy a week in this gorgeous wilderness location—at no cost.
We are all wounded warriors, in a way. We may not have engaged in combat, but we’ve certainly fought through life’s ups and downs. We may have strain at home or on the job, health problems, financial concerns or personal trauma. The stressors may come from outside or from within. But in every circumstance, through every trial, we have a Friend who will stick “closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24), a God who “will redeem [our] soul in peace from the battle which is against [us]” (Psalm 55:18). “Cast your burden upon the Lord,” David concludes in this psalm of lament, “and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).
Take God up on His invitation to cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). The cost to Him was great (Philippians 2:5-8, 1 Peter 2:21-24)—but for us, it’s free (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9).