Heat of Battle
Heat of the battle. This phrase has been on my mind lately. I’ve been inspired recently by various writers to this blog who encourage us to follow through on our promises to pray for one another. And it got me thinking to not only pray but to pray fervently (Colossians 4:12) and continue with those in need through the heat of the battle.
We may know someone enduring a lengthy trial of their faith, but are we aware of a day or a time when the load has become particularly heavy and they could use some extra reinforcement? Our heavenly Father is.
I can recall several times in my life when I couldn’t sleep and was whooping it up big in a pity party hosted by my brain in honor of my own situation. In the middle of that mental chaos, a very clear thought would emerge to pray for a certain person, someone I wasn’t thinking about or hadn’t seen in a long time. Where did that thought come from? It could only come from a loving God who knew at that moment someone had a need greater than my own, especially when the person confirmed later what they were going through. It's very humbling to be the one asked to pray or the one benefitting from such a prayer. I’ve been in both roles.
It is no secret that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
OK, so we know what we’re up against, and we know where our strength lies, but what happens when we become battle-weary and worn? A young brother at GMBA camp sang a song about the cares of this world wearing us down (video link here) and being worn “before the day even begins.” We’ve all felt that spiritual exhaustion. But when we finally gain rest from such a season and “see redemption win” like the song promises, what can we do for others who are not at rest?
A sister in our congregation had a dream once where she was shown various families at the front lines of a great battle. After a while, one family would retreat and another family would take their place along the front. She was given to understand that when it is our turn to be off the front lines, we have to reinforce those that are there now.
My family experienced first-hand the blessings and relief of battle reinforcements when my dad recently had open heart surgery. A platoon of soldiers showed up the day of surgery to sit with my mom, encourage my dad, and rolled up their sleeves and went to work making our family feel overwhelmingly loved and blessed. How different our turn at the front lines might have felt without them!
Who do you know in the heat of battle?
You don’t have to look far. A famous quote says, “Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” Know a student stressed out with exams? A family with a deployed parent? A shut-in? An overwhelmed mom of young children? A new empty-nester? Someone looking for a mate or a new place to live? Someone going through cancer treatments or a recent divorce? Someone waiting for a job, a pregnancy, an organ transplant, or a wayward child to come home?
I can fill in the blanks with names for every one of those struggles, but the challenge is to remember struggles wear on and I can send great relief in the smallest gesture or word. Random acts of kindness seem to get a lot of attention in our world, and that’s not a bad thing. But better yet, instead of random, it's even better to be intentional and directed in first-aid to a hurting world, inside and outside the church family.
Can’t think of where to start? God will give the inspiration. He has a way with pairing up soldiers in the heat of the battle.