Last year my oldest son and I spent part of a long weekend watching the excellent series “Band of Brothers.” This eleven-part mini-series based on the book by Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the experiences of E Company in World War II. The drama of each episode is introduced by recorded interviews of some of the surviving members.
In one of those interviews, a veteran told of the horrors of D-Day and how he had been too scared to fight, how in fear he hid in a ditch and did not engage the enemy. He then related that a lieutenant later got a hold of him and instead of reprimanding him gave him some advice that got him through the war. It was the type of advice that we as missionaries also need to hear and I jumped off the sofa to grab paper and pen.
The lieutenant asks him, “You know why you hid in that ditch?”
The soldier replies, “I was scared.”
“We’re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there’s still hope. But the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function like a soldier is supposed to function . . . All war depends on it.”
We have our hope in Christ and as missionaries we should not abandon that hope. It is our trust and hope in Him spur us forward. However, we may have unwittingly smaller hopes and desires that are causing us to be timid in the midst of the battle we have been called to.
Are we still hoping the world will honor us for preaching Christ? The world likes Christ as loving example but hates His authority as Lord.
Are we still hoping to be respected and esteemed? The world thinks we are fanatics. Only like-minded fanatics are ever going to “get” us and appreciate what we do.
Are we hopeful that we can still fit in, that we can really just be one of the guys (or gals!)? Then, indeed, we will have to hide our true calling, our true feelings, our true passion if that is our goal.
Stop hiding. You don’t fit in. You are weird by the world’s standards. Your hope for acceptance and reputation and comfort needs to die, so that you can truly live the life you were meant to. Reckon yourself dead to the trivial things the world holds in such high regard so that you can truly “function like a soldier is supposed to function.”
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25, nasb)