The Russian invasion of Ukraine has got my American blood boiling. As an Army Veteran, I hate to see the advance of evil in our world. Indeed, I’m praying for the country of Ukraine, its’ political leaders, and military soldiers. Specifically, I’m praying that the Ukrainians would be brave as they attempt to beat back the thick darkness that has descended upon them from land, sea, and air.
As I think about the War in Ukraine, I am reminded of my time of service during the War in Iraq. I served in the U.S. Army as an Intel Analyst/Paratrooper from 2006-2010 and deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I served as a Targeting Analyst during my first deployment and as a Political Analyst during my second deployment. Here are some basic lessons I learned during the War in Iraq that surely apply now to the War in Ukraine…
- Evil exists. So many of us are quick to reduce evil to a mere concept, but mark my words, evil has a face. There are evil people in this world, and they intentionally unleash evil deeds upon people and places. Evil people aren’t simply misunderstood or lacking in hugs, they are evil by choice. Evil people tenaciously seek to steal, kill, and destroy. Yes, evil exists.
- Good exists. Despite the advance of evil in our world, there is good in this world “and it’s worth fighting for.” Indeed, goodness has a face. There are good people in this world who are willing to hold the line and beat back the darkness. I had the privilege of serving with such people during the Iraq War. They come from all walks of life but are willing to stand up against tyranny and oppression. I thank God for such people.
- Life is fleeting. Here is the sad reality of the War in Ukraine: People will die. There is nothing that can prevent this sad reality. Both soldiers and civilians, adults and children, young and old, will perish in this war. Blood will be spilt. War is such a stark reminder that life is precious, but fleeting.
- Eternity is forever. All of the people who perish in this bloody conflict will be ushered into one of two eternities: Heaven or Hell…This is the ultimate binary reality of life. For those who perish inside of Jesus, they go to Heaven. For those who perish outside of Jesus, they go to Hell. This is why I left the Army to pursue pastoral ministry. People need to know, during wartime and peacetime, that this world is not all there is, there’s an eternity that awaits us. Are you prepared for eternity?
Pray for the country of Ukraine. Pray that Ukraine experiences victory over Russia. Pray that the Gospel advances despite evil…