Deployed… but not alone
Is it possible that a couple separated by deployment could be considered a picture of the Christian faith?
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. — Psalm 139:7-12
She sat in the living room of the house with furnishings and mementos which they picked out and purchased together.
She had just gotten their energetic children on the bus and off to school.
She was surrounded by pictures of their wedding and memories they had made together before and since that day. She started the day by re-reading some love letters he had written.
She planned to Skype with her deployed husband in the afternoon to make sure plans for their R & R were coming together.
She emailed and Facebooked for a while in order to keep their network of friends and family updated on his condition and her needs. She prayed to the Lord to protect him and his unit.
Yet, if she let herself, she could go by her feelings and think that she was all alone. . . .
He sat in his tent and opened a care package he received from her that day—full of goodies.
He had just talked with his wife at home and had reassured her of their plans for R & R.
He had asked lots of questions about how the kids were doing in school and how they, together, could parent with purpose.
He could gaze at his bulletin board and enjoy pictures of their family and memories they had made together. He re-read some love letters she had written.
He emailed her to thank her for the package, thank her for taking the time to Skype and tell her good-night. He prayed to the Lord to protect her and the children.
Yet, if he let himself, he could go by his feelings and think that he was all alone. . . .
They moved about with health and strength in the shelter provided them and surrounded by unmistakable beauty of the vastness of creation.
They loved each other deeply and considered their oneness to be a gift from God.
They enjoyed technology unknown to past generations, allowing them to communicate whenever possible.
They knew that, God willing, they would be reunited soon.
They were blessed with the bounty of friends and the legacy of children.
They prayed to the Lord . . . . yet, in their darker moments, they insisted that they were all alone and feeling hopeless. . . .
Really? How reliable are those feelings?
Let’s look at this a little closer–is it possible that a couple separated by deployment can be considered a picture of the Christian faith? . . .you live in a place far away from your eternal home; you love God whom you cannot hold but Who has written you of His love; you communicate intimately in prayer with Him; you find strength in remembering how He has saved you and how He guides, protects, comforts, loves you; and how you can look forward to His coming again and your time together in all eternity?
If that is possible, then how do we encourage each other during these tough days of deployment separation when our feelings can cause us to believe things that are just not true? The answer—with Truth.
The same way that Paul instructs us in Romans 15:4: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Our life on this earth. . . . knowing that as believers we will be united with our bridegroom, Jesus Christ, in heaven someday—that God’s presence is very real—that the Holy Spirit can comfort, convict, and guide us through the difficult days as we communicate with God through prayer, worship, study, and fellowship —and that His word, the Bible, is His love letter to us . . . .is challenging. But the truth is that we are not alone—that He loves us—and that we can live in faith and perspective of our time on earth and eternal life as followers of Christ.
We encourage each other as a married couple in the same way we encourage each other as fellow believers—with gratitude for what we have in oneness, with stories of our past together, with communication of our needs and confidence in days ahead together, and in serving others through difficult times.
Satan is the enemy who would seek to discourage us and lead us into believing lies. Be vigilant, be armed, be encouraged—God is the victor!
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. — Hebrews 11:1
Questions to Share:
1. When do you feel most alone? What is it that encourages you the most during those times?
2. How can you encourage your spouse when they feel alone?
3. Why is basing truth on feelings unreliable?
This article was used by permission from ExcellentorPraiseworthy.org, Cru Military’s devotional blog for military couples experiencing deployment. Posted Monday and Thursday evenings, these articles offer hope and help to those serving–either at home or away–while geographically separated.