Sunday, June 2, 2013 —
Last weekend was Memorial weekend. It was three glorious days away from work. I spent almost every waking minute outside; I was actually still sitting on the front porch at midnight. The days were warm, not too hot, and the nights were cool. I know we won’t get another weekend like this until sometime late in the fall. In my opinion, it was a taste of heaven on earth. I hated to see it end.
We got so much done outside. On Friday night my wife made a list of things that needed to get done. By the time we came inside on Monday evening we had completed almost everything on her list. That’s another thing that gives you a great feeling, getting things accomplished. While we didn’t get everything done that we hoped, we made a good dent in our list.
We worked in the vegetable garden, the flower beds, and planted some beautiful mixed planters. We both really enjoy walking around our yard and seeing the beauty of plants growing and blooming. This weekend was also the time to bring out our tropical plants. The poor things have had a long winter in the garage and they require some of my wife’s tender care before making their grand entrance back out into the world. Like I said, it was a great weekend.
During some of that time as I sat quietly on the front porch I was reflecting on how many people have had to suffer so I could enjoy such a weekend. Many men and women have laid down their lives so we can live in freedom. I have the greatest respect for the men and women who put on a soldier’s uniform. They are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to give us the privilege to live in this great land.
My grandfather, step-grandfather, father-in-law, and my father have all donned uniforms to defend our nation. Each of these men was lucky to come home so they too could enjoy living in this great land. But there are many families who have suffered the loss of a loved one so we could have the privilege of living safely here in America. The soldier paid the ultimate price and the family suffered the loss of their son or daughter. Freedom comes at the high cost of lives.
As I reflected on the high price many families have paid for us, I also thought about all the men and women of faith who have laid down their lives for the sake of the gospel. I think about all the people like Stephen, the very first martyr, who paid the ultimate price so he could share the gospel with the lost. I was also thinking about all the people who got to live out their natural lives and they maintained their faith right to the very end.
All of us have been influenced by people whose faith was stronger than our own. We have wanted to emulate their faith, to allow a little bit of their glory into our lives. Their strong faith in areas where we felt weak gave us the desire to press on through tough times. Their faith in God helped us to grow, to become mature in our faith. These men and women spurred us on so we could spread our wings and fly.
We need to honor and appreciate these heroes of our faith. They have fought and continue to fight for their faith. Living out our faith is a daily battle and we need the encouragement of others to maintain the fight. If we all look around there are people who live what they believe; they are the heroes of our faith.
Some of our heroes have gone home to be with the Lord. We ought to reflect on how they led their lives. Granted, each of them were sinners but they didn’t give up and lead defeated lives. No, they fought and led victorious lives as examples for us to follow. They persevered and won the reward for their faith. Their lives are shining examples of how to live and maintain our faith so we too can enter into our Father’s rest.
I want to encourage you to think about those people who are shining examples of faith in your life. Reflect on their lives. Are they perfect? No, but they died to themselves and lived for Christ. They trusted God through the most difficult moments and won the victories. Their lives, their stories, their testimonies are encouraging to us all. They are examples for us all to follow. Go forth and be an example for others.
Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at www.dougcreamer.com Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email email@example.com