I’ve been watching “slave” shows lately. One of them was “Underground” and it was really good. Though I really appreciated the character development, storyline and creative writing it entailed I was let down by the lack of spirituality. There seemed to be no characters with really deep relationships with Christ. I think it has to do with the fact that people who have not had an encounter with Him cannot reconcile a God of love with suffering so they are unable to write about Him. I struggle with that too sometimes…
The latest show I’m watching now is “Glory”. It was actually made in the late 80s and maybe because I was just born I don’t recall seeing it growing up. “Glory” is a recounting of the civil war from the Union’s perspective. It tells the story of an all black regiment who are made up primarily of run-away slaves. As one character put it “We runaway slaves, but we come back fightin’ men.” Though many of them are run-away, there is one man who is free. He was born free and his father before him. He is well educated, speaks properly and has cheered on the freedom of his people in a sense from the sidelines. He was actually very close to the Captain of the army; they grew up together. But though the slaves had it so much worse then he, it turns out the other mens’ slavery actually better equipped them for the battle ahead.
The men who were slaves learned discipline, both physical and mental. They learned to control themselves in order to stay alive. They learned to take orders and they learned to endure monotonous grueling work for long periods of time. When the men are trained to be soldiers the freeman is targeted by the man training them because of his physical weaknesses. At one point the Captain intervenes on the freeman’s behalf telling the Trainer that they grew up together, to which the Trainer responds, “Then let him keep growing up”.
The freeman did not understand why the Trainer was so hard on him. He did not understand the training process, but the whole time I was watching the story unfold it was so heavy on my heart that he needed the training to be difficult. He needed the training to be difficult because the war would be difficult. The Captain knew that. He had fought in a previous battle where many men were lost and he was adamant that his men be trained to endure such a battle.
Spiritual battles and physical battles are so similar. I have always felt that we, as humans, were born into war. We were born into a war where there are casualties and there are soldiers and there are choices to be made on which one we will be. I believe Christ came so that we do not have to be casualties. I believe He came to show us that we too can have the victory.
But we will have to fight for it.
There is a process we are each called to. It can be difficult marriages or difficult children or poverty. It can be physical sickness, mental illness or tragedy. Whatever the process it is for refinement. There are seasons where I hate my process and there are seasons where I love it and there are seasons I feel both. There is an ebb and flow to my journey and for much of it I have fought the flow.
He has birthed out 2 books anyway. He has given me jobs and titles and degrees and positions and ministries. Even in spite of myself.
I believe the training we receive is not just for our battles here on earth but the positions we will hold in eternity. I hope to one day hear those words “Well done My good and faithful servant” but there are times where I wonder if He is pleased at all. Though I know His Word says otherwise…
I hope you will see that your process is not in vain. He is training you and the harder the training the greater the reward. The greater the harvest. The better the solder you will be. Soldiers are not born, they are made. You must go through the process to be made.
Months ago He said to me, “Who are you Nicole?” My reply was, “I’m a warrior”. He said, “Then fight!”
As warriors we must fight. As soldier we must train. As His, we have already won.