Deep in the pits of war a cry rings out across the battlefield. Someone is injured and is in dire need of a medic. While war is all around terrifying, this cry for help can be both scary and heartbreaking sometimes. If the enemy’s troops have departed the area, then it is an easy thing to help the fallen comrade. However, there are times where the enemy is still lurking around in the shadows. They linger after the battle either to pick off those still alive but injured or to take down those who come to the aid of the wounded. War is a gamble with the lives of those who fight, and not even the medics are spared.
I’m going to be honest with you, all that I know of past wars and those who fought them come from movies (Saving Private Ryan is typically the one that comes to mind; Hacksaw Ridge close behind) or the nonfiction books I’ve read over the years (James Bradley is an author I’d recommend). I know several veterans by name from different branches but have never discussed their experiences during their years of service. Yet, although my knowledge of warfare is lacking, I do know medics are needed no matter the situation.
A medic is the health specialist of the field. If they get lost in enemy territory, the medic focuses on keeping the health of the group stable whilst the others focus on spotting the enemy or completing the current objective. The medic carries a salve for this rash or a bandage for that sore. He or she knows how to properly apply a splint, knows if it is a vein or an artery that’s been hit when the skin is cut, and can save someone from gunshot wound given the best circumstances. They are the healer, the one who is more focused on rescuing people than fighting them.
And there is one medic who tops them all…
“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.”Matthew 9:20-22
Jesus is the ultimate healer. The medics and physicians of our world are still learning how to heal people physically while the therapists and psychologists are still learning how to heal the mind. Jesus, however, can heal body, mind, and soul. We may have specialists who can heal the first two until the end of the earth, but we will never have someone who can heal the soul like Jesus can. Jesus is our medic on the battlefield, the one who can find us wherever we lay wounded. You may be asking yourself, though, of what battlefield do I speak?
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”Ephesians 6:11-12
The battlefield is life as we know it. We might not see what we struggle against, nor see when, where, or with what the enemy is attacking us. No human can see both the realm of the flesh and the realm of the spirit. Besides, the battle isn’t ours to fight, it’s the Lord’s. If you continue to read about the armor God gives us in Ephesians 6 you’ll notice the only weapon God hands us is His word which is to be used with love (because without love, you have and are nothing). All the other things God hands you are pieces used to defend.
Imagine you’re on the edge of a battlefield in medieval armor and without a physical weapon. Your commander has sent you out to help the wounded and to tell them who is fighting for them. You stand on the edge of that field, looking at the awful destruction and devastation before you, with two options: lay down your shield to be content with where you are or to pick up that shield and push forward, carrying out what your commander told you to do.
If you do the former, you aren’t growing spiritually. If you aren’t growing spiritually, there is an A and B reason. The A reason is because you’re new to the faith and this is all new to you; you’re taking it in with overflowing joy and fascination and you want to stop to admire it for a moment. The B reason is because you’re lazy when it comes to your faith even though you were saved months or years ago. This means you’re okay with only hearing scripture on Sundays. You’re okay with reading the Bible every now and then, but never live out what it says. Or you do live out some things, but only the things you like. You’re okay with not praying continuously for this person, that person, or even yourself–when your day was peachy–because you figure someone else is already praying for that. You’re okay with not serving because that’s just not your thing.
On the other hand, if you are the latter then God bless you and your path. Picking up your shield and pushing forward can sometimes be difficult because it’s something we have to do daily. It’s especially difficult when we first get our armor or have experienced something terrible in our lives. When we start out we are like the squires of old who trained to be knights. We have to receive training from God through His word to build up the strength to carry it and the experience to use it against the enemy’s attacks. If we experience something terrible (for example, when I lost my grandmother), it’s hard to have the motivation to lift that shield when a flaming arrow is heading straight towards us. Thankfully, it is Jesus who trains us; it is He who protects us when He knows we are too weak to stand.
Going back to the edge of the battlefield and your orders have been given, the very moment you step onto the battlefield the devil will begin to attack you more so than ever before. Why? Because he knows that if he can discourage you or ruin you in some way and it works, you won’t be able to carry out what God has called you to do. To help someone wounded on the battlefield is to love on them. To tell them of the one who is fighting for them is to share the Gospel with them. If he can stop you from doing those two things then he can guarantee someone will die on that battlefield believing no one cared, and in his mind that’s a win. He will not be victorious in the war–for God has already defeated him–but he can win a small battle.
We are not on this battlefield to fight. Nay, we are on this battlefield to love. We are here to spread the news that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are here to press on through the fires blown at us and the storms that rage around us to find that person who needs a medic, sling them over our shoulders, and carry them to the med tent where Jesus can heal them. And when God gives them that strength to stand, to carry their own shield, they will enter that battlefield with us as our brother and sisters in arms. Let us fight with prayer! Let us fight with love! And, above all else, let us follow our King into battle!
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”2 Corinthians 10:3-5