Today I want to honour the bravery of our soldiers. The hardships they endure and the burden they carry is enormous. The fact that they have volunteered for the duties they daily perform is incredible. For the sacrifice they make, the bravery they daily muster and courage they demonstrate, I am truly thankful.
Years ago, while reading, I stumbled across an incredible story of a soldier’s brave exploit. It has long been a favorite of mine. It is about a soldier who demonstrated incredible faith and courage in the midst of a seemingly impossible situation. I hope it inspires you.
The young soldier’s name was Captain Jonathan. Jonathan and his men had fought in some tough battles and as circumstances would have it, the troops were now very poorly equipped. In fact, whole units were without weapons. Discouragement was setting in, large numbers of men were deserting, and the army as a whole was despairing the thought of the upcoming battle. They were literally on the edge of mutiny. Sensing the desperation of the situation, the young officer hatched a daring plan.
Jonathan had been a man of faith from the time he was young. His relationship with God had been his source of inspiration, courage and protection in battles past. Approaching the young man who worked as his personal batsman, Captain Jonathan shared his idea. “Look, let’s take the fight to the enemy. Maybe God will work for us. There’s no rule that says God can only save by using a big army. No one can stop God from saving when he sets his mind to it. We will crawl on our hands and knees, and approach the enemy lines across the rockiest terrain. They won’t suspect a thing as the ground is unsuitable for attack”, he told the lad. “At the last moment we will show ourselves to the enemy outpost, but before we attack we will gauge the situation by the response of the enemy. If the enemy tells us to halt, we will quietly withdraw, but if the enemy recognizes us, that will be our sign that God is with us.” Inspired, the aide responded. “Let’s do it. I am with you heart and soul.”
The plan went off without a hitch. Crawling over sharp rocks and difficult terrain, not unlike where our Canadian forces serve in Afghanistan, the two comrades made their way to the striking point. As they exposed their position to the enemy garrison, they could hear the troops prepare for combat as the two were recognized as foes. “Up, follow me, God is with us”, Jonathan shouted. In a near suicidal maneuver, Jonathan and his batsman rushed across the open ground. In a fury of combat, the two men took the first position. Not a scratch was on them as they proceeded to capture position after position, over a half acre. When the dust had settled, Captain Jonathan and his assistant had killed 20 enemy soldiers.
News of the great exploit quickly reached both army headquarters. Fearing similar attacks and confused by the appearance of enemy troops in difficult sectors, the enemy army went into full retreat. Seizing the opportunity, the soldiers of Jonathan’s army pursued.
Jonathan was a hero. By his bold action he set off a chain reaction that inspired his countrymen to action and turned a possible defeat to a momentous victory. He never allowed the circumstance to dictate to him what his response would be. When his men lacked weapons, he didn’t cry “no fair”. He toughed it out and didn’t take the easy route.
The bible tells us “when the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders.” That same verse in another translation says, “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier.”
Jonathan never removed God from the equation. “Nothing can stop God from doing what He sets His mind to”, Captain Jonathan shares with us. What trouble are you facing? Do you face a desperate situation? Feel like you have no “weapons” to combat the circumstance? My answer: dig deep, endure, be bold in your belief, and never, ever, ever, remove God from the equation. Nothing can stop him from saving.