I’m always drawn to these “darker” type of storylines. Either there’s a war happening, a murder to be solved, or some sort of conflict between two opposing forces which can only be resolved in the termination of one of those forces. If the story includes a female heroine of some sort who appears non threatening but proves she is more of a warrior than any of her foes combined, well then, even better. I actually look up to those characters who have been through hell and back and live to tell about it. The warfare and pain make them stronger because not only did they survive it, but they came alive in the midst of it. Their identity and purpose was shaped while on the battlefield and the battle proved to be essential in their own evolution.
I’m currently reading the “Divergent” series and was just thinking about the loss of the main character, Tris’ family members. Tris is small in stature and often underestimated because of it. But her small stature is just a cover for how tough she really is. She has been trained in fighting, use of a variety of weapons and taking the riskiest escape routes even if it means her life could be lost in the process. Her physical skill set is further complimented by her intelligence. She is extremely perceptive and can out think her adversary in almost every scenario.
She is a soldier.
But in all of Tris’ training for combat, nothing could have possibly prepared her for the losses she would experience. The loss of her parents in the midst of the war. The betrayal of her brother who sided with the enemy. And that is the part of warfare that stings the most, when those closest to you have turned on you. That is the part of war that I keep forgetting about. I want the sharpening of my weapons. I want the victories that come in battles. But I can do without the losses.
I’m learning that life is never so black and white…and neither is war. There are times I’m fighting for God’s army and sadly, there are times I’m fighting against it. Letting the enemy use me to take down my fellow comrades. Those are the ugly parts of war.
Even though I’m drawn to these pictures of battle, either through movies, tv. shows or books, I am pretty “non- violent” in real life. There is nothing in me that wants to learn to shoot a gun. Nothing in me that wants to physically assault someone or hurt them (most of the time). I think it is really the spiritual battle that I am intrigued by and have been since the early days of my walk with God. These physical pictures become a representation of the spiritual for me.
There is also something in me that wants to be like these heroines. Wants to go through hell and back and come alive in the midst of the battle. But being in the midst of this battle, in this season, I can clearly see the need for God’s strength. Because I am weak. Often I do not come alive. Often I give up and succumb to temptation…But I guess that is the difference between real life and a story line. The heroine in stories rarely makes mistakes and although she has a team of people who help her in her victories, she has this really cool way of being naturally self sufficient. But I can not be. Self sufficiency in this battle means death. Maybe not a physical death, but a death nonetheless. In order for me to be the warrior Christ has intended for me to be, I must die first to myself. I must choose to be completely surrendered upon Him and Him alone because with Him I can do all things…and apart from Him I can do nothing. I’m grateful that even when I feel apart from Him He is still there. That even when I’m fighting against the advancement of His army, He is still fighting for me.
2Tim 2:3-4 (MSG)
So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.