The cold and snow that has Tennessee in its grip so early this season have put me in a reflective mood. I think of those men, and women too, who endured so much and sacrificed so greatly to establish this nation. Today we have so many luxuries that it’s hard to imagine what they must have suffered, what faith it took to endure the bitter cold of all those winters with little food and clothing; minimal shelter or even none; barefoot often, and no prospect of success. Only another battle most of them could not conceive they could win. Had it not been for their commander, they would not have.
Many did not make it. They died of disease or in battle. They gave up the fight and ran away or went home when their enlistments expired in spite of all their officers could do to inspire them to hold on just a little longer. After all, the war had gone on for a year, then two and three and four, with no end in sight. Most likely only disaster lurked in the distance. And who could blame them for losing faith?
Those who held out to the end stayed because of their loyalty to their commander and their belief that freedom is the right of all people. And in the end they won an unimaginable victory. They established liberty in the land that great Providence had provided for them. It was not a perfect liberty and is not yet today. But because of them we see the goal before us and we strive to reach it. Without those who believed when faith and sight were not congruent, who thanked God for what they had not yet attained and kept moving toward it in hope that would not be quenched, we would not have come as far as we have.
Still today, it is our Commander who draws us forward by his own example. He does not falter or fail. He does not turn away from the battle, for he knows that the victory is sure. As sure as that one so many years ago. It was only that they did not see it then, but we see it today. And we continue in faith in our God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
In whatever situation you face, may you continue in the light of faith, and may your Christmas filled unimaginable blessing!