Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (NKJV)
My wife and I just stood there and watched, as our son and new daughter-in-law walked through security at the Jacksonville, Florida, airport. The night before, all the planning for the wedding had worked, and it was beautiful. I wished now that they were leaving for their honeymoon, but the US Army had different plans. Our son was to report to Fort Lewis, where he was to prepare to leave for Afghanistan on June 1st. Praise God, he returned safely on December 20th.
I will never forget the feelings that I was experiencing as I watched my son leave to be in harm's way. I tried to figure out if I was proud, scared, angry, or just uncertain. I was experiencing all those emotions at once. I was numb. I just did not know how or what to feel.
I had asked my mother how she felt when she watched my father board the train to leave for World War II. Mom described similar feelings. I am sure that there are many who had the same numbness as they watched the ones they love leaving.
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives His disciples the "Great Commission", or, in effect, the marching orders for the church: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you." (NKJV) But then, Jesus goes on to promise them, and us, something our military leaders cannot: "And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (NKJV)
We do not like the marching orders that our loved ones and we have been given, but we do have the assurance that Jesus is with them and us.
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your promise of comfort during these hard and uncertain times. We ask You now to give peace and reassurance to ones who have already suffered sacrifices, and to those who are facing disruptions in their lives. Lord, You know the needs of each one, and we ask that You bless us, and keep us, according to Your promise that, if we take Your yoke upon ourselves, You will give us comfort. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.