SUNSHINE SOLDIERS | Ye Olde Way-Maker's Review
From 2000 - 2006, I published a weekday devotional via email. It was called The Way-Maker's Review, and it represented my first Internet ministry efforts. The ministry grew from its original 12 members to over 1,000. I am determined to revisit and re-run some of the devotions from that ministry here on my blog. Partly because they present immutable truths and bear repeating and partly because I want to preserve them, lest they vanish into the oblivion of defunct Internet enterprises. Hopefully, they will be a blessing to some who never saw them in their original format and a nice callback for those who did.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2005
But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. Luke 22:28 (NKJV)
These are the words of Christ to His closest followers. What a blessed way to be identified by the Lord!
It is not difficult to find those who will continue with Him in the sunshine, but the shadow is another story. When Christ was riding the peak of His popularity, the bandwagon filled up very quickly. The crowds were large and the mood celebratory. On the day of His "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem, palm leaves were spread before Him by adoring "followers," and songs were sung, blessing Him as the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
It was not, however, very far from the glory road to the Via De La Rosa. When Jesus bore the Cross upon His back, the mock crown of thorns upon His head, and the weight of the world's sins upon His shoulders, those who followed Him were few and far between. Even these men who received the compliment offered in our text faltered along the way. They swooned and swayed in the heat of battle.
During the time of America's struggle from tyranny, during the birth pangs of Freedom's child, Thomas Paine wrote these powerful words:
"These are the times that try men's souls.The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. Yet, we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
And how will it be with you and me? Will we be sunshine soldiers? Will we shrink from Him in times of conflict and adversity. Will we wallow in beds of doubt or hide in shadows of fear? Or will we continue with Him in His trials - and our own? Will we stand firm, fight valiantly, suffer silently, and believe heartily that "when the battle's over, we shall wear a crown?"
A Prayer For Today: "Father, let me not shrink from service to You, regardless of cost or consequence. May I stand in Your strength, lean on Your everlasting arms, and depend on Your grace. I want to be with You through sunshine and shadow, because I know that You will be with me. Amen."