"The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Ps. 121:7-8
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him." James 1:12
"The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you..." Deut. 1:30 (a)
"No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you." Isaiah 54:17
"So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
I recently found one of my journals dating back to March of 2003 when the war in Iraq was in its very earliest days. As I reread my entries I could just feel my stomach tightening into knots as I remember the heaviness of worrying about a specific soldier, a Ranger, who is very dear to me. He was somewhere in Iraq in those days, and the not knowing his whereabouts and his safety was agonizing. I remember watching the news, thinking that the stations would somehow know how much I needed to hear of W. and some embedded reporter would give me a reassuring word or a quick picture of him and I would be able to relax. But when no word or picture came via TV, I finally had to shut it off to find peace some other way. And so I prayed.
In my journal, I began to write down verses from the Bible and pray them over W. and his fellow soldiers. I have pages and pages of Scripture that I would pray every time I began to feel my fear for W. take over which, I have to confess, was many times a day. Some peace came from knowing that while I had no word on W.'s location or safety, God knew exactly where he was, where he was headed, and what he would face.
Now here we are, so many years later, and instead of updates on soldiers for family back home, the TV is filled with rhetoric and political maneuvering about the war in Iraq. I get that the war is long and I get that the road these last four years has been hard. I do. But as I reread my journal from years ago, I also get that there are still wives, moms, dads, friends, sons and daughters who have that fear in the pits of their stomachs. They are still living with the daily ache of wanting word from a loved one, of knowing he or she is safe even in the midst of war and chaos.
So to those moms and dads, sisters and brothers and friends - and especially to the bravest and best soldiers the world has to offer - I want to humbly offer up my continued prayers. You are loved, you are not forgotten, you are not lost in all the rhetoric. No matter what you may hear on TV from strategists and politicians, please know that here at home there is also an army of housewives and businessmen, white collar and blue collar workers, young and old, rich and poor, who are lifting you up in prayer. We remember. And we pray.
Jesus replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:18-19