World at War

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

Billowy clouds, twinkling stars, sliver of a moon.  The little town rested.  Ceramic tiled roofs covered homes where the mothers, fathers, and children slept, the cobblestone streets quiet, empty, in the midnight hour.


The drone of engines shattered the quiet.  Squadrons of planes punched through the clouds, blocking the stars and moon as they flew over the town.  The sound of metal scraping added to the noise as the plane’s bellies opened, bombs dropped from the hatches, falling, exploding into the roofs below.


The view changed suddenly.  No longer was the destruction from a distance.  Windows and doors blew out as the bombs, one after another after another, dropped from the planes to the town below.  Homes and businesses flattened in a matter of seconds.  Then, as quickly as it began, it stopped.  The engine drone became distant.  The once billowy clouds were blocked by soot, dirt and smoke.  Not a building remained standing in the little German village.


I scooted to the edge of my seat, moving closer to the screen.  My heart beat wildly as I waited to see what had happened to the characters I’d become friends with over the previous hour and a half.  Their homes were destroyed.  Their town had been leveled.  But maybe, just maybe, someone survived under the rubble.  Surely someone was still breathing.  Tears welled as body after body – a parent, a neighbor, a friend – was pulled from the piles of debris.


It was only a movie.  The characters weren’t real.  The story was fiction.  The basis of the movie was not, however.  World War II was very real.  It is estimated that nearly 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II.  Over 60 million people were killed during the war, making it the deadliest war in history.


I had trouble sleeping that night.  The movie itself wasn’t to blame so much; it was more the realities of war.  One of the day’s newspaper headlines read “Russia wants World War III.”  Story after story on the news included footage of violence in the Ukraine, Russian military forces lined up along the border, waiting.  Civil War in Syria, more suicide bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, young school girls being taken hostage by violent terrorists…the list goes on.  Battle after battle…Sleep wouldn’t come.


I’m not living in constant fear.  I haven’t ordered an armored car; we haven’t installed a bomb shelter in our backyard.  Backfiring vehicles don’t have me diving for cover, and helicopters flying over don’t send me running for my life (thank God since there’s an Army base less than an hour away.  I’d be locked up in an asylum by now!).  I have thought, however, about what a World War would be like today.  If World War II sent over 60 million people to their deaths, I don’t even want to consider how many lives would be lost with the current nuclear capabilities.  Some scientists speculate that a world wide nuclear war would result in the annihilation of nearly all of humanity – over 7 billion people currently populate the earth.  At the very least, life as we know it would cease as the fallout poisoned the air, land, water.


The combination of the world events and the depiction of war in the movie had my mind working over time.  I found myself asking God the “why” questions.  Mostly, “God, why are we as people so stupid?  Why can’t we see that by attacking our neighbor, we’re destroying ourselves?”


From the time man fell from grace to this very moment, man has been at war with each other.  Cain killed his own brother, Abel, out of jealousy.  Nation has invaded nation for power and wealth.  Tyrants have murdered innocents to “purify” their race.  Even religion has been used as an excuse to destroy another nation.  War is not new to our world.


“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”  Matthew 24:6-7a.  It isn’t easy to “not be troubled” at the thought of war.  We know that God has a plan, and His plans are perfect.  Those who follow Christ have a wonderful promise.  Revelation 21:3-4 says “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’”  And in that promise, I will rest, knowing that one day wars will cease, and I will live in peace in God’s great presence.


I’d like to add a final note to my long-winded post.  While God is in control and has a plan in place for the future, I don’t believe He wants us to stand-by with our hands in our pockets, living as bystanders in the world.  As much as possible, we should live in peace with our neighbors, but I believe we have a responsibility to protect the weak, defend the defenseless and keep our own nation guarded.  Never should we allow the weak to be crushed by a tyrant and never should we allow ourselves to become that tyrant.

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