The Price for Peace
In the late 1860s, less than a decade after the Civil War’s end, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to the countless fallen soldiers of that terrible war by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
Though it is unclear exactly where this tradition originated, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day citing their first celebration as May 5, 1866.
A large portion of both the Union and Confederate armies were volunteers, whose first exposure to military life was a brutal, bloody war. They received little to no training yet sacrificed everything to preserve their way of life. Today, our military is comprised completely of volunteers, many who have given their lives to preserve our freedom here in the United States.
Even though I have never served in the military, I have the upmost respect for those who do. I am in awe of strangers who would fight and risk their lives to protect me and the freedom I enjoy in this country. It touches my heart each time I watch the videos of soldiers returning from overseas by surprising family members because I remain conscious that for many, their service ends tragically with heartache for their loved ones.
Willing soldiers are pictures of sacrificial devotion that should inspire us. Unfortunately, I believe many Americans have taken their service for granted. Maybe it is true that we are just too comfortable in America. Or perhaps we are just allowing the comforts of our freedom and prosperity of this country to dull our hearts to history and remembering those who made our lives possible by honoring them with how we live.
Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
He did not just teach it, He modeled it.
A soldier fights not only for your freedom, but for peace. Would you agree that any peaceful relationship in your life, one void of conflicts and rich with love and honesty, is a blessing? When Jesus went to the cross, He not only freed you from the judgement of your sins He also gave you peace with God. Let that sink in!
Right now, you may stand in the presence of God at total peace with Him. Jesus made that possible. For years that was hard for me to accept because I allowed my own system of right and wrong to prevent me from really seeing the sacrificial devotion of Jesus when He took my place in judgement before God. During those years I felt better about myself when I stuck to my code of conduct but now realize I never felt nor had peace with God.
Jesus said, “I am leaving you with this gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.” John 14:27
What brand of peace affects your mind and heart?
“This is the message of the Good News…that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36
Peace with God! A gift from God through the Lord Jesus. The only caveat with this or any gift, is it must be received. You receive this gift by placing your trust in Jesus as your Savior. God will then help you live a life that honors Him and history.