Last week I had the privilege to indulge in a glorious week of laziness with the pastor’s wife. Some may know this as “vacation”. An absolutely marvelous invention!
With the chance of causing envy and jealousy among my readers, please allow me to share some of the indulgent highlights of this glorious week: sleeping in, napping, turning off my cell phone, napping, forgetting where my cell phone was, and more napping.
Oh, and there was excessive Netflix bingeing while cuddling with the pastor’s wife. After surveying the vastness of Netflix, it was determined that we need to embrace civilization and find food…and a Redbox movie kiosk.
We found a winner…(drumroll please)…Hacksaw Ridge directed by Mel Gibson and starring Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield).
An amazing story. Let me tell you about it.
(SPOILERS AHEAD, but keep reading anyway! Also, you should know that it is Rated R due to the nature of war.)
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Desmond Doss enlisted in the US Army to serve his country as a medic on the battlefield. But there’s a catch, Private Doss is a conscientious objector due to his religious beliefs. Not only will he not fire a weapon, he refuses to even touch a weapon. He is ridiculed, persecuted, and even court-martialed for his beliefs.
Doss’s battalion is assigned to take Hacksaw Ridge. Hacksaw Ridge is the strategic key to taking Japan and ending World War 2. But just to get to the war zone, the soldiers are required to scale the towering ridge face using long rope ladders.
Once on top of the ridge they survey the field of battle and the brutal carnage of death from previous engagements.
These new soldiers will not fare much differently against a brutal, unseen enemy. Ultimately, they are forced to retreat and regroup. The casualty list is high with the majority of the unit presumed to be lost. The mission is extremely daunting, yet the outcome of the war hinges on this battle. Hacksaw Ridge must be conquered.
Private Doss is assumed to be among the fallen soldiers, but it is revealed that he has stayed behind to assist his fallen comrades. He finds one soldier and drags him to the edge of the cliff and lowers his friend to safety. He then searches for another wounded soldier to rescue, and then another and then another and then another.
In his search for his wounded brothers, he is having to dodge and outwit the enemy soldiers. His hands are raw and bloodied from rope burn. He is physically exhausted, mentally drained and emotionally depleted.
Yet, despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, he continues to press onward with a simple prayer, “Lord, give me one more….just one more…”.
Seventy-five lives were saved that day.
I wasn’t planning on having God speak to me through a movie (and He did not through Pete’s Dragon), but God usually lovingly ambushes me when I’m not expecting it. This was one of those times.
We are in a brutal, vicious spiritual battle for the souls of people who need the hope and love of Jesus Christ. The vile, unseen enemy of our souls fights dirty. He uses ugly lies and shady tactics to discourage and paralyze the saints of God into believing that we are weak and powerless to do anything. He gets us focused on our fears and inadequacies so that we forget those who are around us. (Sadly, he does a pretty good job!).
But we need to be reminded of God’s wonderful promise that begins the movie:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
I know I get tired, exhausted and drained (thus my need for a glorious week of laziness with the pastor’s wife), but God promises to exchange my weakness and fears for His strength and assurance. The Father reminds us frequently in His Word that even though we are living every day fighting the dark forces of Hell, we are more than conquerors because of His love for us in Christ Jesus – the very same love that is needed by so many people around this world.
So, I guess my lesson for my glorious week of laziness with the pastor’s wife is this……my glorious week of laziness became more about a glorious week of recharging and having a renewed sense of the incredible needs that exist in my precious city. May God hear my stolen movie prayer for the lost people around me “Lord, give me one more…just one more…”.