Posted by: glorifyhim1 | November 11, 2014

The Other Side of Sacrifice

The Other Side of Sacrifice

 

 

Today is Veteran’s Day, a day set aside to thank the countless men and women who served our nation and to honor the sacrifices they made. As I thought about my own husband who served during the war in Vietnam, I asked him if he had a picture he would like for me to share to honor his service. The picture he immediately presented to me was not what I had expected.

You see, I have seen many of his service-time photos, though many have faded through the years. I have seen him smiling and laughing with his buddies as they kidded one another in the barracks or as they enjoyed a brief furlough. I had also seen the one of the handsome, skinny, young man all decked out in his uniform that his mother had so proudly displayed for so long that the picture actually stuck to the glass in the frame. But my husband didn’t give me one of these pictures. Instead, he gave me this one …..

Sam

“This one?” I asked. I’m sure I didn’t hide my surprise. But then I asked him to tell me what was happening in this picture.

“That was a makeshift tent that I constructed to try to get some relief from the sun,” he calmly explained.

Then it hit me. While I had heard his stories and knew something of what he had gone through, there was no way I could fully comprehend the sacrifices he had made. While I was thinking of honoring his service with nice pictures and awards he had received, he was remembering his sacrifices, from the loss of simple, everyday comforts to the weightier thoughts of loss, fear, separation, and the awfulness and stench of war.

Sacrifice is loss, giving up something precious, for something or someone else. And, usually, the only person who fully knows what sacrifice costs is the one who actually makes it. The greatest of all sacrifices was when our Lord Jesus Christ became our Savior by willingly giving Himself to die on the cross to save us from sin and death. Oh, how I’ve rejoiced and praised Him for what He did for me. But, I always want to think of resurrection Sunday rather than crucifixion Friday. I don’t like to think about His pain and suffering. I’d rather think about His victory and defeat of death. Yet that victory was won through suffering and Jesus taught us to remember His sacrifice. And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’” (Luke 22:19).

What does remembering what Christ did, do for me? Remembering what Christ did for me helps me to live the life He calls me to live today. As I remember His sacrifice, His love and forgiveness, and His faithfulness expressed in so many ways, I am not only encouraged in my life, but I know that I can trust Him not only today, but also tomorrow.

In much the same way, our sacrifices matter. When my husband looks at the above picture, He recalls some of the difficulties he suffered, but he is also reminded that some men and women will forever wear the scars of battle. Still others never made it home. Remembering these sacrifices reminds us that the freedoms we enjoy, and that we so often take for granted, definitely came at a price. Remembering such sacrifice can affect the way we live today.

On this Veteran’s Day, I’d like to say thank you to the many men and women who have answered our nation’s call and served in our military. Thank you for helping to keep America free. Thank you for the sacrifices that you made that while I may not fully be able to fully comprehend, I do appreciate. And thank you to my husband who taught me even today that sacrifice is rarely pretty  – and as my Savior reminds me, sacrifice often leaves scars.

 

 

 

 

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