From time to time the news brings us to the tragic reality of P.O.W.’s (prisoners of wars), whether current or historical. Immediately we are caught in an emotional war within ourselves. We certainly grieve those who have died, and somehow try to work out the great loss, and how we can continue on with our lives without them. But then the horror that some are still alive, but in captivity, enduring who-knows-what kind of treatment, stirs us up almost unbearably because we can’t do anything about it!
We can go to funerals and Memorial Services to try to get some closure for those who have died, and many other things as well; but what can we DO about the P.O.W. ? We pray. We write letters perhaps. And we hope that our country will get them set free.
The real purpose of this blog is to point instead to the reality that WE ARE ALL P.O.W.’s. We are all in a war; a spiritual war. We are all being held captive, and tortured, daily. Our enemy is fierce, and he hates our Savior. Our enemy wants us to renounce our Citizenship, and join with him. The peer pressure is severe, as so many have gone the wrong Way. We are plied with all sorts of inducements, distortions of truth, even lies, in addition to the pains of various tortures.
So, how does a P.O.W. survive his captivity? A common report from those who did endure and get set free was the mental determination, the focus, the resolve to never give up and to keep remembering the purpose the war was fought for. Let Freedom Ring is an American mantra, but a Christian one even more-so.
For this Thanksgiving, we can do much more than say ‘grace’ at mealtime. We can understand that Jesus Christ has won our Freedom, and offers it to us. We may have to endure for a season, but the outcome is sure: He wins. We can even die in our captivity, secure in the knowledge we will be resurrected in Glory! The Bible declares that our citizenship is in Heaven, not in a cage here on Earth, which is only a temporary dwelling place.
For most of us Americans we can easily rejoice this Thanksgiving, for we have so much. Let’s not let ourselves be numbed by the stuff. Let’s continue to Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow! Let’s renew our confession of Faith, and our resolve to be Disciples of Jesus Christ. It might be good to reflect not only on the war that has us captive, but also on God Almighty, Who will bring about our Deliverance!
May the Lord immerse you in His Holy Spirit, this Thanksgiving, with thanks-giving. Amen.