Not all of us are called to plant the flag.
We each have a role to play.
Some of us will give our lives on the beach, not making it beyond the sandy shores, our bodies paving the way for comrades behind us.
And some of us will step over the fallen, taking the cause one foot further before we meet our reckoning, the bullet with our name…the explosion that takes our gutteral last and ushers us in to hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You’ve done what I purposed for you to do.”
Perhaps some of us won’t be in the second wave or third wave that hits those bloody beaches. We’ll be in the umpteenth wave, the bodies long gone, the blood seeped through and washed away by sand and salt.
Will we forget why we are here? Will we press on, into the jungle, ever pushing the edge of danger? Or will we vacation on those beaches, the place where others before us fought to pave our way?
We must not forget why we are here. We are here to take the cause of Christ one more foot, one more inch, one more life further into the domain of darkness. Though it takes our all, the gates of hell cannot stand against us.
Am I willing to be the sacrifice out? Am I dedicated to myself? Or to the Kingdom to which I belong?
I suck breath in and know the dividing of hearts and intentions, the Word that pierces and evaluates. And I am found lacking.
Only a handful get the honor of planting the flag; the others of us get the honor of paving the way for it. That is no less honor.
Will I embrace it?
Will I honor those who gave their lives on the shores…in the thick…in the foxholes… in their youth…in their gray…by being faithful to take it the next leg?
And if it means my blood and body pave the way for the next wave behind me, will I give it gladly, with a whisper, “Thine be the Kingdom…and the power…and the glory…”
He speaks it deep and I stay in this place. He invites me to train for my part. He invites me to let my arms and heart and mind be disciplined by Him for when I am “up.” For I will be called upon…not to vacation the beaches but to bathe them in my blood.
To live and die for His cause and His body that continues throughout the ages.
It is a daily invitation, to let Him mould me in the ways of true nobility. In humility. In servitude. In giving up for the greater advancement. In seeing significance in the mundane. In full obedience. This is true purpose, this living for Something greater than one’s self.
As former IMB president Jerry Rankin said, ours are lives given, not taken. Because when we play on His team, the agenda isn’t about us. It is about His team, His kingdom, His glory, His pre-eminence.
We know going in that some of us will be sacrifice outs. So we train to fight hard and give our all and when it’s our turn to pay the ultimate, we’ll rejoice to know we are advancing the team.
In Living and In Dying.