Monday, December 18, 2017

Silent Strength

August 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” I Corinthians 6:13&14 New Living Translation

It was a beautiful wedding. The bride looked stunning and the groom was so handsome in his Army dress uniform. The church was perfectly decorated and everything was going along as it should. Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus was playing as the processional began and the armored guard was in place for the traditional gauntlet of swords. As the bride stepped through the arbor of shinning blades, the last soldier in line drew his sword back and tapped her on her backside – welcoming her to life as an Army wife.

It was an impressive sight and it seemed the whole affair had come to an end without a hitch. Little did we all know; when that soldier drew back his sword he inadvertently cut the leg of the soldier next to him. So well trained to stand still, that soldier never flinched. He did not want to ruin the moment. His strength of will saved the ceremony.

That bride was my daughter. Yes, it’s a true story. We were all so impressed with the young man who was able to control his reaction to a painful situation. He held his tongue and kept his composure under a difficult circumstance. He could have yelled out loud, yet he pulled strength from his training and kept his peace – knowing that this wedding was more important than his pain.

I’m not sure I could have taken a hit like that young man did without having made a fool of myself! We all have experienced pain in our lives. Even our brothers and sisters in the Lord can hurt us under certain circumstances. Is our faith great enough to “stand firm”, without flinching, when we would rather let loose our tongue? Most of the time it’s more prudent just to be still and let the ceremony play out. We can spoil a moment that’s not really about us. Even when the suffering we feel is not due to our own mistake, it would be worth enduring it if someone else reaps a benefit.

Some suffering we bring on ourselves, not from serving God, but from serving the god of self. Thankfully, His grace still covers us, and even when we mess up, He can restore lost strength. Then we can stand firm and steadfast in our faith, growing stronger with each trial. With this training, we control our reactions, even when we are hurting and want to lash out. Our goal should be the polish that comes from knowing all pain does not have to be immediately validated. When we give it to Christ, He will use that silent hurt as a building block to spiritual maturity – for us or the person who may be watching us.

That soldier will never know what a life lesson his suffering displayed to me. I only hope I will be able to follow his example when circumstances strike me a blow.

Jan Cline is a Christian author/freelance writer and speaker from Spokane, Washington. Her desire is to minister by guiding others to Christ through written word and song. She has been involved in her church in leadership and music for many years. Jan has had many articles published, and is currently working on two novels. Please see her website at JanCline.net for more information about her or visit her blog.

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