Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Far From Home

He knew it'd be hard because of all of the warnings he'd gotten, but words would never have been able to prepare him for this. He figured he'd have to push through the strict "no-outside-contact" policy, but he couldn't have anticipated the loneliness of soul he was enduring. As he laid on his cot in the middle of his team's camo tent, he desperately tried to think of better times. Before the draft. Before those last good-byes. Before the war. He tried to think of anything that would pull his heart towards faithfulness.

You see, they had brought in women. And beer.

They figured it would cheer the boys up after the toll this 6-month unrelenting campaign had brought upon the troops. They could have a night of fun and forgetfulness. They could party away their burdens of lost comrades and pain. And the best part was, no one would have to find out. They could consider it a one-night-gift from the good 'ole US of A.

But there was no forgetting the fact that she was still at home. Waiting. Faithfully counting the days that she would still have to endure until he came back. But she counted them joyfully, knowing her reward.

And with this, he wrestled. He paced the floor, sat down, and even kneeled to take his mind off of things. He mentally clawed for every reason he shouldn't go out there and claim momentary pleasure. It's why he was trying to remember. He tried to see her sweetness that, for some reason, so easily eluded his thoughts now. She felt so far, and unreachable. He wished that the feelings of joy present at their union would flood his mind now, but to no avail.

This went on for hours. It tore his soul apart as he fought with the animal inside, often leaving his body shaking for what could, with a few steps, be within his grasp.


Welcome to the desert. Where God feels as far away as Pluto, and sin is as near as your doorstep. This land has been traveled by many a weary stranger, of which it has consumed too many. Here is where man desperately tries to see the face of a God who seems to be intentionally hiding Himself. It is in this place that you want to want Christ, but yet the pleasures of the world have such a stronger emotional pull.

It is in this place that I call upon Galatians 5 to lend a hand, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

I know that these moments test the very boundaries of our soul, and in this stretching, I pray earnestly that we would become a church that solidifies our feet in blocks of concrete and says, "I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back."

Even when everything inside us says it's not worth it. That God isn't fun. That God isn't going to satisfy. That your distance from God is a good excuse to abandon Him. For these are our tests. How else will we know that we can stay true other than by being put to the test?

Stand firm, therefore. For at His side, there are pleasures forevermore.

Trust Him.


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