From the editor: August 8, 2013
Standing His Ground
A couple weeks ago I wrote about standing one's ground in the daily spiritual battle that is the Christian life.
I can't emphasize enough how small actions and obediences can make a difference—even when, as is usually the case, you don't see the difference.
In the real world of battle, this has repeatedly been the case. A good example is what happened during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII.
Caught by complete surprise on December 16, 1944, Allied forces were driven back as German troops poured through gaps in the front line and surrounded and overwhelmed many Allied units. It took a full day for the Allied command to realize that a massive offensive was underway and that it was not going well, as Stephen Ambrose describes it:
On December 17, the trickle of frightened men fleeing the battle began to turn into a stream... By December 18 the stream was becoming a flood. The waves of panic rolled westward...[O]n the third day of the attack...the U.S. Army was in an apparent rout...a sad spectacle.
Roads were jammed with Americans in full retreat. But all was not lost along the extended American front:
But although surrounded, the Americans in many cases fought back with every weapon available to them-usually just small arms. . . . [S]cattered groups of men stuck to their guns at crossroads and in villages.... German losses were catastrophic.
Even though the Allies were being pushed back, "Hitler's timetable was already falling apart, thanks to an unknown squad of GIs here, a platoon over there, fighting although surrounded and fighting until their ammunition gave out." The German army was being bled by brave men who refused to retreat. Hitler's offensive eventually stalled, becoming vulnerable to Eisenhower's counterattack, which saved the day.
Every defeat of a temptation, every act of kindness, mercy, love, and compassion—these are victories that spread grace and light even into very dark places. We do what we can, and let God bless it as he will.
I may be forgiven for seeing the last 50 years as one long moral rout, a retreat of epic proportions, yet not all have retreated. There is no surrendering here at the Fellowship to forces of compromise, infidelity, and apostasy. We like to think, as we've been told many times lately, that we are making a difference in the daily lives of others by holding the line through our publications.
But sometimes ammunition runs low. So I have to invite you to join our platoon and help us hold our ground—by subscribing to our publications or by sending in some support for our ongoing bills. We shall continue as long as we have ammunition! So far, so good!
But remember this, if nothing else: the whole world was a spiritual battlefield without equal on the day that Christ ascended Golgotha and stood his ground against the Enemy of Man. Indeed, in the Cross we see Jesus at his post, God himself, laying down his life that we may live in him. In all of our smaller battles, we join him there, taking up our cross daily, as he commanded, and so we obey, having the joy of knowing who wins in advance. We're on the winning side. Let's act like it!
—James M. Kushiner