This is the weekend in America that has been set aside to honor those who have given their lives while serving in the armed forces so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today. We are removed from the "great generation" of the World War II era, and I fear that many Americans don't really take the time to reflect on the great sacrifices that have been made since the foundation of this great nation.
One would think, with all of the war and bloodshed since the terrorists attacks of 9-11-01 that we would be mindful and appreciative of the brave men and women who have served so valiantly for us. It appears that the wars associated with the terror attacks have gone on so long that we have grown numb to the war and many take little time to reflect on the thousands who have given the ultimate sacrifice over the past decade.
Those who have come home from Iraq and Afghanistan, for the most part, have not received the heroes welcome that former generations enjoyed. I am not one who seeks to place men upon pedestals. There is far too much of that in today's society, but we do need to be thankful and appreciative for those who willingly joined the armed forces and fought for us on foreign soil. Their commitment and bravery are unmatched by any in the world. Not as often as I should, but on occasion I am reminded while attending a church service, that we have that opportunity due to the freedom we have in America. Freedom is available to all within our borders, but it is certainly not cheap.
Many will view this weekend as simply the start of the summer season with an extra day off from work. I pray that we will sincerely take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. Let us take the time to thank the Lord for all that we enjoy in America. Take a moment to pray for the thousands of families who will spend this Memorial Day weekend grieving the loss of a loved one that was killed for our freedom in a foreign land. Take the time to thank a veteran who served us proudly. They too stood in harm's way, but by the grace of God they were spared and brought home.
America is facing some challenging days ahead. There is much that concerns me regarding the direction that we are heading, but it is still the greatest nation on earth and I am proud to be an American! I am aware that my blog is not read by the masses of humanity, but it is a public forum that the world can access via the internet. I would like to take this forum to publicly thank each and every one who has served this great land of ours. I would like to assure those who have lost loved ones in the fight that I am praying for the peace and provision of God in their lives.
I can never celebrate Memorial Day without thinking of the One who paid the supreme sacrifice. Our blessed Lord and Savior gave His life upon the cross of Calvary for all humanity. He offered Himself so that we might be reconciled to God. If you don't know Christ as your personal Savior, I pray that you will come to know Him, believing upon Him in salvation.
I am Chris Benfield, pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Boonville, NC. Here you will find some of my thoughts, particularly relating to the church and serving our Lord.
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