Before the foundation of the world, I wonder if our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, began a conversation.
God may have phrased it this way: “I have an amazing idea, but there will be tribulation. It’s going to cost Us everything.”
Before God explained, I wonder if Jesus said, “Send Me.”
And if that happened, I’m sure the Holy Spirit shouted almost immediately, “I’ll help!”
It’s easy for us to imagine God concluding with these words, “I have no doubt about that. Thank you. Let there be light!”
It is a unique group of people that initiates change by volunteering to serve a cause greater than themselves. I believe this unique group of people is best represented by the words, “Send Me.”
“Send Me” is the motto of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division of the US Army. Affectionately known as “The Spartans.” Their exploits are nothing short of the very embodiment of what it means to be a veteran.
This unit’s roots go back as far as WWI and were noted by General “Black Jack” Pershing as one of the most brilliant in military history. The 3rd brigade not only took part, but repelled what became the brunt of the last German offensive of the war. Like the Spartans, like our Lord Jesus, veterans see conflict, and engage in it head-on. Veterans choose to face the storms in their lives—and rise above them. All veterans share that motto.
When you accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation, you became a child of God. You were redeemed. Even then, you still had a choice: You can barely wash up on Heaven’s shores, or you can “Go and make disciples.”
When you pick up your cross and lay down your life, you make Jesus Lord. You join the ranks of Heaven’s Armies, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
Veterans never have to wonder if they did their part to ensure that American freedom remains for future generations. They paved the way for Christians to fulfill our call to “Go and make disciples.”
It began the same for each Veteran. Somewhere in their heart, they heard the words, “Send Me.” Just as God’s creative phrase, “Let there be light,” echoes throughout the universe, “Send Me” echoes through our hearts for all eternity.
All veterans share one common act—they signed on the proverbial dotted line. They know perpetual discomfort, trauma, death, or the worst in my opinion—torture—could write the next chapter of their lives.
Yet they responded, “Send me.”
Being a U.S. Marine veteran taught me many things—namely honor, courage, and commitment. Even though I still had a ton of growing up to do, change had begun. Along the way, I gained an honorable title, called Marine. I gained a beautiful family and a prosperous career. I gained an eternity with my Heavenly Father. Some veterans weren’t so blessed. Some of them sacrificed everything.
They sacrificed their mobility. They sacrificed their dignity. Some gave up their families, careers, and even prosperity. But they didn’t give up hope. And they certainly didn’t lose their honor. Their honor is eternal, as is yours.
Why was I spared those horrors? It’s for them that I write today. It’s for them that we honor the flag they represented. It’s for them that we remain steadfast in our resolve for unity and respect for one another. It’s for them that we put aside our own agenda and ask ourselves, “How can I help?” It’s for them that we continue to raise our hand and say, “Send me.”
This past week we celebrated our country’s veterans. Search your families, schools, churches, and communities for the unique individuals that gave so much. Seek out the one with whom, through our Lord Jesus, you share a common call. Tell them you are grateful. Thank them for their service. but tell them why. Be specific, even if you are just happy to be with them.
Without fear of what they will say or what they will need, ask them about their service. Encourage them to tell their stories. Then listen. When they pause, don’t fill the air with words. Let them continue.
If each one of you serves just one veteran in your lives, then you will have learned what it means to serve a cause greater than yourself. You’ll understand what it means when they say, “Send me.”
Question: Who was the most influential veteran in your life? What is their story? How did it change your heart? I look forward to reading your comments.
About Jerry Howard
Jerry Howard is a Christian executive mentor, author, and speaker who owns multiple businesses. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he is the founder and guiding force behind iNTREPiD iMPACT Team, a faith driven leadership and business consulting agency. Jerry loves being a part of God’s Special Forces by bringing faith to the marketplace, the nation’s largest mission field. For more information and to connect with Jerry, go to www.JerryHowardInternational.com.