Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope
- Romans 5:3-4
As I lay awake, I asked, why would God put me here? I know that there is a reason, but what? I couldn't really understand. It seemed like a terrible choice He made. Yet, it gave me hope. I held on to that, there is a reason, I just have not discovered it. I'm here not just because God thinks I'll do okay, but because God knows it to be the best.
So I spent whatever free time I had, be it during fall in or after lights out just to be still. To worship God and to pray. It developed over time, at first I would sing to Him silently in my head when I had nothing to do, like during those moments I had to fall in and not move for an extended period of time, eventually I came to sing to Him in the midst of all the screaming and shouting.
I felt the fullest impact of relying on nothing but God alone here. Here, my strength is not enough. The family of Christ cannot give sufficient direct support. All I have is God. Really, All I need is God. Its humbling and im really learning from it. I realise how much of what I do, though I do rely on God, involves alot of my own effort. That is necessary of course, but sometimes I feel as if some of the things I do for God could have been done without Him. This is where I really have nothing though, and I find that it is only when I fully accept that I'm not going to be able to do this on my own that I find that im able to go on.
Field camp's coming, its going to be tough, im thinking im just going to switch of everything. Let go of my rights, my all. Commanders will be unreasonable, I will just take it. Focus all my energy on living in devotion to my King. As I sing to Him while holding my rifle over my head or leopard crawl through mud, let it in its own unique beautiful way bring glory to God. Its pleasing aroma despite the physical stench. After all, I am not of this world. I am a soul, I have a body. The body will perish but the soul will live for all eternity.
Interestingly, im being challenged in areas that I never really have much problems with. For one, loving your enemies. I never had problems with caring for people who show me no love at all. I love because Christ first loved me. They can do whatever they want to me, but I'll not hate them. Theres a new challenge now though. How can I love someone who gives no respect at all to so many people, torturing them physically, mentally and emotionally to breaking points, treating them like slaves or animals? Its tough and each time I silently ponder about how I could love such a person, how God does actually love such a person, and how Christ could say upon the cross 'Father forgive them for they know not what they do'. We'd think such people aren't fit to live, but God thinks otherwise.
I've seen how nasty things can get this week, and they've been saying its only the tip of the iceberg. Through it all, I have learnt much from it. People tell me army will teach us things like treasuring your relationships more and whatnot. Thats untrue for me because I've always treasured my relationships with people. If anything, I feel bad that now I need people to be there for me but I myself am unable to be there for them. I have learnt more about other things though. How to truly depend on God for instance, that I have said. Its funny, but I've also come to better understand what the people in the Bible have gone through. The rifle over head, SBO over head (and soon to be I bet field pack over head) moments remind me of Moses raising his hands up in the battle. The sheer difficulty of that is only apparent to me now that I experience something similar. So I raise up my hands and unite with the saints, declaring Jehovah Nissi, the Lord my victory.
I'm reminded of Jesus upon the cross that I have mentioned, and then theres Paul and Silas who worshipped while locked up. That praising Him in the very midst of the storm, while all the shit is flying everything is a moment which reveals through Christian manilness. This field camp, im going to aim to do that. Im not fit. the heat will get to me. I will be so tired I can't think. Yet through it all, I want to stand strong, spiritually strong even if im physically broken. Let the praises resound.
Theres a stake here now. Im the Christian and everyone knows that. I wrote it in the biography clear as day and my sergeant mentioned to me that im the 'very Christian guy'. My section mates noticed that I read ODB and ODJ daily (at least I try to whenever it is possible). Im standing for the world to see. So I pray, that when they see me, they will see Christ.
So here I am. 5th coy tells me that I'm conquered by none. I didn't need them to tell me that, I know I'm more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. Again, I'm not saying I'll be fine. I won't be fine. Nothing's alright about everything thats going on. I will feel like shit. I will struggle. I will be weary. Yet, being alright is not a prerequisite to overcome. Its not me they're dealing with, its the one who reigns. What could stand against?
Anyway, songs will be up again this week while im away at field camp. See you all probably on sunday. Pray for me, if theres any point in my life that I'll need prayer, it is now.
Let the games begin.