I take notice when I hear their stories.
The ones who have suffered and stayed.
They endure the hard marriages, they care for the elderly parent, they patiently raise the child with special needs who will never leave home. They love the prodigal. They serve the homeless and pick up the broken and addicted. They study the Word and preach in the small churches and the hard places. They care for the orphans and seek out the lonely. They love the hard to love.
There is no trophy for those who, day in and day out, lay down their lives for others.
They are rarely thanked and go unnoticed by a world that celebrates self and selfies and social media followers.
But they are warriors, stealth soldiers in a Kingdom that is powerfully advancing.
They daily die.
They daily die to themselves and their desires and their needs…but it is there that they truly live.
And make no mistake, with them, God is bringing amazing light into the darkest of darkness and setting captives free.
Those suffering soldier saints don’t just cognitively believe in the crucifixion, they have, themselves, been crucified with Christ.
They no longer live for the emptiness of temporary worldly, satisfaction…. they’ve answered a higher calling to an eternal purpose.
Like their Savior, they daily deny themselves—their comfort, their dreams, their finances for a greater good and higher cause.
Yes, they’ve been hurt, knocked down, scarred and disappointed in the battle; but their eye remains steadily on the eternal, better prize.
But each of them will tell you their strength is not their own. Human love would have walked away long ago. Jesus is the source of their strength and their love.
Daily they run to and place their hope in the One True King who will right all the wrongs, heal all the wounds and make all things new.
And as they quietly suffer and patiently serve, a lost world sees Jesus in them.
One by one, dying people catch a glimpse of what it means to truly live.
And disciples make disciples …and the Kingdom of God advances….One person, one decision, one day at a time.
Oh friend, oh soldier, be encouraged! Encourage others to keep on keeping on! God is at work in you and through you!
He sees you!
And one day… our eyes will behold His glory! Our faith will become sight! Victory belongs to our Lord!!
What a Savior!!!