George is an ex-serviceman from South Holland, Ill.
We as young men and women have been raised in the sphere of God’s covenant. From our earliest youth we have been instructed in the things pertaining to this Covenant. We have learned to know God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, and also to know the Reward we receive when we fully trust Him and live a life that is in full accord with His law and statutes. Also, we have come to know ourselves as we stand in relation to that Covenant, namely, that we are obligated in all that we do to serve Him perfectly for He demands perfect obedience from His own. By faith we do this willingly.
But, oftentimes our faith and spiritual life are at a very low ebb. We live, it would seem, in smug complacency. We hear the same thing over and over, and we become numb to the admonitions and commands to serve Him in all that we do. No more does the preaching quicken us or build us up. Nor does Society life seem more than a social meeting or another intellectually pleasant gathering. I know that we all experience this at one time or another, and so it is also in our daily living. We have no more time for reading and meditation, but are wholly occupied with our own material or mercenary objectives. Our mind is completely vacant of any spiritual thoughts.
Yet, by Grace we are again renewed. Through His Word and Testimony and the working of the Spirit within us, we are brought back into that Covenant fellowship. We feel our deep need for the Word of Life. We long for it and through it are refreshed and can again have sweet communion with our God. Our whole life is transformed and again peace is with us. Then also our social life is a means whereby we become stronger and more sure of our living a true Christian life. Our friends are those who are like-minded, and our homes become a veritable center of Christian Living, truly a bulwark amidst the unrest and strife of the world.
But often God calls us from these homes and from amongst those who likewise show forth true Christian Living. We all know the events of the past years, when the very foundations of earth were shaken. Wars raged in lands afar off and men were called to the colors. The Church as well as the world had her young men taken from her midst. They were scattered far and wide and usually no two were together leaving one alone in the center of thousands who know not of the Covenant nor have ever experienced Covenant relationships. So he stands truly alone. If he speaks of these relationships and his Christian life, he is often put to dismay by laughter and mockery. They know not of what he speaks nor do they care. In fact, they refuse to hear for then they are brought into the light and stand open before all. If possible, they will make the Christian foolish in his own eyes and then lead him in their way.
And with them he may even go for a time, but, God will not allow him to fall far. The Spirit must again quicken and lead and does, to a level never before reached. And he stands as it were in heavenly places, no, he is never alone.
As most of our ex-servicemen will testify, God leads and keeps us no matter where we may be. Though often we fail to fulfill the demands of His law, yet He is able to forgive and also lead us into new realizations of true Christian Living.
We could never advise our younger men to seek a life in the service. To do so would, to me, be advising to leave the blessed fellowship and communion with which God has blessed us. Nor could a child of God desire to leave the realm where God truly reveals Himself through Word and Sacraments. There may be exceptions, but, we do not feel either that God calls men to a peace time service life. One who has material abundance does not leave all to receive only the bare necessities of life, and much less can the child of God leave the place where Fathers hand leads and guides with spiritual abundance.
Let us then with true and contrite hearts live a life that in every respect is in gratitude for the great redemption we have from so great a degradation. Let our “conversation be in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our vile bodies, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”