Dressed for Battle
I love when I find something in Scripture that speaks loudly to my heart. I know it is God answering my questions. This is a story of one of those times…
Passage after passage in Scripture describes the lives of nameless people following God.
There were artisans who didn’t get credit for their work.
There were thousands of soldiers who died in battle.
There were “the people” of Israel – numerous men, women, and children who were just one in the crowd, following God through the wilderness.
Sometimes these nameless ones seemed disposable to God.
God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, but honestly, we want to matter.
I asked God, “Do I matter?”
I remembered the red shirt in Star Trek (I wrote about that earlier).
I asked God, “Am I disposable?”
I had worked through these thoughts somewhat while healing from childhood sexual abuse. Statistics say one in four girls is sexually abused before the age of 16. So if I was the one, then three of my girlfriends were spared. Of course, that’s not how stats work in reality, but the thought brings some comfort.
Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I look at the people in my life, and am alright being the stat, not because I can handle it better than others, but because I know God handles it and I can lean heavily into him.
The spring of my diagnosis, some in my office formed a Relay for Life team to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. A co-worker ordered team shirts. So there I was, putting on a red shirt.
I cannot see the big picture. I can’t read the end of the script. I don’t see in light of eternity – some days I don’t even see the hope of a promise, as the children of Israel saw. They were promised a land of milk and honey with salvation, while I simply trust in my salvation. I just see the here and now, with me wearing a red shirt.
However, I believe life may not be about what happens or even about how God uses me – perhaps what matters in life is my willingness to be used, no matter what that looks like. Even if it looks like I am disposable. Even if I am a nameless one of many.
Courage is not being brave, but being willing to do what must be done when it needs to be done. I am willing to be in the spiritual battle. So I study about the armour God has provided for battle, described in Ephesians 6. I fail often, but I am learning to be courageous as God strengthens me, that I may stand firm. I put on the armour of God, to be used for God’s glory, even when I can’t see the bigger picture. I am willing to suffer so someone else can know God’s salvation.
Then I read it – the Scripture that speaks loudly to my heart.
Nahum 2:3 – The shields of his mighty men are colored red, the warriors are dressed in scarlet…
I am one of God’s many mighty (wo)men. I am a nameless warrior and artisan. The world may never know my name, or my deeds. I may fall in battle.
But God knows my name, as He knows the name of each of his children, his warriors, whether or not they were recorded in Scripture. My name is written in His Book of Life. I am part of God’s Kingdom on earth, so I daily live within the battle.
I willingly wear the red shirt of God’s army.