Let me be honest. When I started writing this blog I expected to write about a number of topics I felt would be pertinent and relevant to you based off of my life experience. Today my list of topics continues to grow each week but instead of using this list I have been led to write on the "here and now" with regards to my journey with Christ and my other brothers I call men in arms.
A good example was this last week as I prepared to meet with my group of committed brothers at our normal 6 am time on Fridays. This week 6 o'clock came and went and only Troy was present. Unexpectedly, Scotty wasn't able to attend due to caring for his elderly mother, Tim had to care for an injured son and Jeremy was away on a family gathering. All 3 had worthwhile reasons to be absent that day but had I known ahead of time I probably would have called Troy and cancelled our meeting. I look back on it now and realize in my head I discounted the verse in Matthew 18:20 that states "for where 2 or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them". Somewhere my thinking has gotten ahead of the Lord where I misconstrued His ability to work through just 2 of us.
Here is where I would like to "listen out loud" with you regarding how this morning unfolded. Like most other weeks I woke up early, had a quick breakfast, made a pot of coffee and then headed to my pool house (we call our cave) and put on worship music as I awaited the arrival of my brothers. Quickly I realized it was only going to be Troy and myself. We started out with some small talk which lead into more meaningful conversation about life and the responsibilities that come with it. At this time Troy paused and broached the issue of a friend from church who has been consumed by a demanding work schedule and has become isolated. Here is where contrasting voices spoke. You see my honest 1st internal response was "maybe our current gathering of men is already large enough", quickly I rationalized my thoughts with statistics that the ideal size for small group is 4-5 men. I hate to admit it, but my 1st thoughts were about self-promoting what was good for me and self-protecting what I had the benefit of. Then I heard another voice. This time it wasn't my thoughts but those of the Lord. My focus quickly shifted from being on me, myself and I but onto the one that was lost, the "man down"
I was reminded of how the marines knowingly would never leave a man behind and certainly not one who has been wounded or is injured. The Lord asked me "if I was down, would I want to know that someone was coming back to get me?" Next the Lord gave me the picture of my beloved dog being chased by a coyote. The coyote was nipping at her Achilles heal knowing it would only take 1 well placed bite to render her mortally wounded. Unable to run from her attacker any longer and she would be left all alone while the rest of the pack enters in to finish the job.......man down......and there is no getting up from this attack.
I also recalled the previous day that I was reading about Eleazar, one of David's Mighty Men.
2 Samuel 23:9-10
Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder.
Let us be like Eleazar and be willing to stand against the enemies we face and not be like the ones who ran from the heat of the battle and only returned to collect our share of the plunder. We can't walk back to the camp at the end of the day seeking a warm meal by the fire knowing we have a man down. No, we need to return at all costs and retrieve this brother from behind enemy lines.
My morning with Troy ended with clear direction that we have a man down and we need to reach out to him, pull him back into the frey and let him know he is not alone any longer. As I pulled out of my driveway that morning I called one of brothers, Scotty. I explained to him what just happened, his response was without hesitation "I'm in."
What a reminder this morning was to me that I can never discount the ability of the Lord to work in the midst of 2 or more men and not to buy into the selfish lies of the world. We live in a world where men are falling all around us. Can we do something about all men, absolutely not, but I am certain there are men you know that have isolated themselves and are now vulnerable to being picked off. Say to yourself as Scotty said to me on Friday "I'm in" and do something about it.
I end this blog with the below link to the closing scene from the movie Schindler's List. If you haven't seen the movie yet it is about a man named Oskar Schindler who saved over a thousand Jews from death by purchasing their lives from the Nazi death camps. He is given a ring of appreciation by the Jews which has inscribed on it "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire". May our reaction to the lost men of this world be like what is portrayed in this clip.