It was a fierce battle even for a soldier as seasoned as he was. No one knows for sure how the events transpired as they did. When it happened, it was almost over before it began. The soldier has had a lot of time to reflect on the battles leading up to this one. It had taken years of faithful duty for his commander to put him in such a front line position. The soldier had been decorated many times for standing strong against the enemy. He was not one of the ones who had to be coaxed into battle. He had seen first hand the destruction left in the wake of his enemy. He had seen the destroyed lives. He cannot remember the countless times he had talked so many through tough and difficult decisions in their own battles. He had relayed countless messages from his commander to others who were looking to find a place of safety against the onslaught of enemy weapons. He knew the importance of being prepared for battle. He had seen a lot of others who were not well prepared fall in the fight. He had always tried to make sure every skill and weapon was razor sharp. He knew his life and the lives of others depended on it. There had been times when he was amazed that he was still standing when the day of battle had ended. He had encouraged many a young warrior to stand strong and not faint at the fierce attacks of the enemy. There were occasional times when he was allowed to get some much needed rest but usually his life was spent being in a state of alertness and total awareness of everything around him. It was very seldom there was a lull in the enemies attacks. Usually if he wasnít fighting on his on lines he was helping a brother soldier not be swamped by the enemy. There had been several times when he had to call for reinforcements and there was a special squad his commander kept in store to send to every soldiers aid. This special squad was terrible in their strength. Nothing could stand before them but the brunt of the battle was not given to them. Those were horrible times indeed but he thrilled at the way his commander had taken care of him. He would gladly follow wherever he was commanded to go, without question. I suppose in hind sight he had been able to see the attack coming but it looked like the same kind of battle he had fought so many times before and he wasnít overly concerned. After all, hind sight is twenty/twenty
There was something different about this day of battle though. He felt tired as if he had went too long without rest and his senses were dulled. For some reason he felt more alone than he ever had before going into battle. He had never felt that way since becoming a soldier. He knew the need to stay in constant contact with his commander. He knew this was going to be a strange day but he just trusted and went into the day of battle as usual. When it actually happened it was over before he realized how strong an attack it was. It was an unexpected and sudden move of the enemy that staggered him. He knew immediately that it was a serious wound but he could do nothing except fall to the ground in a total state of weakness and shock. He remembers seeing the enemy standing over him and laughing a victorious laugh before leaving him in that horrible state of aloneness. He had never felt pain like this in his life. It was a pain that coursed through his heart and very soul. It was unbearable but he knew he had to bear it until help arrived. He thought surely he would die here in this state. He lay there a long time in his weakened condition as other soldiers passed him by. Maybe they were busy. He knew they could see him. They saw how he had been deeply wounded but they just passed him by. Couldnít they hear his cries for help? Why wouldnít they stop and help him? He desperately needed help but was far too weak and disorientated by the viciousness of attack and the severity of the wound to keep crying out. He had seen this before and never had understood it. He had seen other soldiers spend a lot of time in the back lines trying to get people to fight who really did not want to get involved in the battle but they passed completely by wounded soldiers they passed in their time on the front line. It was strange that they seemed to care nothing for their own wounded. The wounded soldier lay there for a long while trying to get his thoughts about him. He would not be bitter against those who refused to help him but he knew that if he recovered from his grievous wound; he would try his best not to pass by a fallen brother soldier.
After what seemed like an eternity he was able to move enough to find some shelter from the storm of the battle. He was not getting better but at least he was out of the storm. He tried several times to get the attention of other soldiers as they passed by but he could get none to help him. Most of them acted like he had the plague. Some even told him as they passed by that he could not be a soldier anymore, he had been wounded. Did they not care. Did they not see that he wanted to get better so he could continue to fight? He knew if he could only get in touch with his commander he would be well taken care of but he had been left so disoriented, he could not even remember how to get in touch with him. He was in a terrible state and he knew that if someone did not come by who cared, he would perish from the effects of the wound.
One day miraculously and he did not know how seeing that he was in such a bad state of health but his commander got a message to him. He had heard he was wounded and had a great soldier not far from him. He would send him by to see if he could help. This was a turning point in the wounded soldiers life. This brave soldier his commander had sent to help fought to get to his side. Immediately he let it be known that he understood what it was like to be wounded and set about to bind up the wounds. Without one word of recrimination he let him know his commander had missed him in the battle and was very grieved at the wound he had received while serving him. He put healing ointment on the wound and bound it with love and care. As soon as he got the wound bound he helped him to his feet and told him that he had a safe place to take him not far from where they were. The wounded soldier could only trust and follow his lead. He knew without asking that his commander had sent this man. He would follow this brave soldier his commander had sent to his place of rest and just relax and enjoy the great company of this soldier. It didnít really work that way for long though. It was not long before he got aggravated at the man his commander had sent. He would not let the wounded soldier sit around long. He immediately got him up and moving. He got him used to being in the battle again as quickly as he could. He did not get thrown into the thickest frays but he was put in deep enough to exercise his skills. The wounded soldier knew the scars from the wound might always be there to remind him of how devious the enemy is but he also knew as his strength grew that he was still a soldier. He would always remember the brave and faithful soldier who had stopped by to render him aid when he needed it most and no other would tend to him. As time goes by, the wounded soldier got strong again. He is in full contact with his commander now and has been sent into the battle once again by his commander. As for the soldier that stopped by when no other would; well, he is his best friend after his commander and always will be.
This short story is one that many soldiers of the cross could apply to themselves. It so happens that this story is my story. What do you think the arrows of the wicked are? How can a man of God be wounded? He is not wounded by prayer or by faithfulness. He is not wounded by persecution. Persecution actually strengthens a soldier of the cross. It is when Satan blindsides us with unexpected sin that we become wounded. Do you think you cannot fall?
1 Cor. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed, lest he fall.
There are a lot of wounded soldiers of the cross out there who are desperately needing for a faithful soldier of the cross to come by with healing ointment and bandages of love. They become wounded by things like bitterness or letting greed come into their lives. They are wounded by alcohol and adultery. They become wounded by self righteousness and legalism. These things and many more wound soldiers of the cross. It is all sin and they all will steal the power from his ministry. If you are a wounded soldier of the cross, contact me. I will try to be a friend as you heal and I will go with you in prayer to our commander, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
It is easy to criticize and condemn. It is easy to join the ranks of those who judge with hard and unyielding judgments. If you are a wounded soldier of the cross I want to let you know that our Lord Jesus Christ loves you more than the depth of any sin that has wounded you. Like the father of the prodigal son, He is ready to run and meet you.
1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Someone may have told you that God has put you on the shelf because you have sinned and became a wounded soldier. I will not lie to you. The wounds of sin damage our testimony, sometimes horribly. It takes longer and is harder to rebuild a damaged testimony than it is to build one from salvations birth. It takes tough skin for rebuke and rejection of men and a broken heart toward Christ. It is worth it though to show the world that sin can not reign where Christ abounds. I cannot find shelves in the Bible. I do find repentance, I do find restoration, I do find renewal. I do find where the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and in due time He will lift you up. Let the first love that stirred you to the battle be stirred once again. You might have heard that if you have put your hand to the plow and looked back that you are no longer fit for the kingdom of God. None of us are fit for the kingdom of God. None of us are of any use as a soldier if sin is controlling our life. Put down the sin, take up the cross and follow Jesus. If a man says he has not sinned, he is a liar and the truth is not in him.
Do not let someone else keep you from a full reward. Take up the cross and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.