Have you ever wondered what our world would be like without the U.S. Military? For starters, without our military, we could all be speaking German or Japanese today. Not only did our military deliver Europe from Nazi tyranny a generation ago, but in our lifetime it has also liberated tens of thousands of Muslims from oppressive dictators. I know our men and women in uniform make mistakes, but we could not survive as a nation without them. I, for one, am thankful for the way our military protects us as a nation.
We need a strong military because no matter how sincere our leaders may be in trying to solve problems peaceably; there will always be international bullies who want to bring their conflicts to our front door. Enemies don’t usually go away just because we’re nice to them or because we leave them alone. A Roman military leader, Flavius Vegetius said, “Let him who desires peace prepare for war.” President Harry S. Truman said, “Carry the battle to them. Don’t let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive . . .”
There are a lot of things we need protection from, though, that are beyond the ability of any military power. On any given day, for example, we can suddenly be attacked by fear, or by discouragement, or by pain, or by any number of other worries. For those kinds of attacks, we can’t turn to the U.S. Military for help. Where do we go for safety?
Remember what you did when a bully in elementary school was making your life miserable? You might have said, “Leave me alone, or you’ll have to deal with my older brother or my dad. Both of them are tougher than you are.” When life gets out of hand, we need someone stronger to take over. Even adults can get into the act. There is a bumper sticker that reads, “My lawyer is better than your lawyer.”
There are difficulties, though, that even an older six-foot six-inch brother or the most expensive lawyer can’t solve. All is not lost, though. There is a God who is strong enough and good enough to take care of us. “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him” (Nahum 1:7). “The LORD, my strength and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress. . .” (Jeremiah 16:19).
When we come to Christ and humbly accept His forgiveness, He steps into our lives and dramatically changes the picture.
Notice what happens when we put our complete trust in God: “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2). Whatever problem that may be “bullying” us at the time, we don’t have to fear it any longer: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident” (Psalm 27:1-3).
God has promised even more. Trusting Him can replace our fear and worry with joy: “Let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield” (Psalm 5:11-12).
What does a three-year-old do when he can’t tie his shoelaces? He finds someone older and wiser to help. What does a five-year-old do when she falls and skins her knee? She cries out to Mommy for comfort. The only way to be protected from life’s “bullies” is to come to Christ the same way a child comes to a parent for help. Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all” (Luke 18:17).