Some of you who have been reading these devotionals for many years may recall when I shared the thoughts of Scoti Domeij, the mother of Army Ranger SFC Kris Domeij, who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 14 times and was killed in action 22 October 2011. Her thoughts are worth pondering as we contemplate the value of this day that God has given us:
“Etched on every tombstone are two dates that belong to God — the day God planned our birth and the date God knows we’ll die. Between those two dates is just one simple line – the dash in between – that stands for the time in between that’s yours and mine.”
In this context, Ms. Domeij wrote a powerful testament to the life of her son:
“Even when others don’t get it, their inability to grasp sacrifice and service will never diminish your service and sacrifice. They simply don’t understand the volume of blood and tears spilt, the degree of agony and hardship endured, and the number of honorable men and women whose lives were extinguished in battle, so that we as individuals can do what is right in our own eyes. You remind me of what I was taught as a child about how a child of God is supposed to live: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13)” The life Kris lived—that dash between the two dates of his life—was exemplary of how Christ lived for us.
Ah my friend, brave men and women like Kris paid the ultimate sacrifice for our physical freedom; and Jesus Christ laid down His life for our spiritual freedom. What legacy will we leave with our life? Today we live in the space in-between birth and death and we must ask: “Will we wisely invest in the freedom so dearly purchased for us?” Jesus said:
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”Mark 8:34-37
Even if we pay the ultimate price of dying for our faith, it is not the end—rather, it is just the beginning. Of death, Ms. Domeij wrote:
“Goodbyes are the law of earth. Reunions are the law of heaven. When they played taps at Kristoffer’s graveside, heaven had already played reveille, Kristoffer’s wake-up call to rise to live forever with Jehovah, The Lord of Hosts, The Supreme Commander and Chief of all the Armies in Heaven and on earth. When the law of earth plays your taps, my earnest prayer is that heaven will play reveille for you. Please be there.”
My friends, each day is a precious gift! When we are born again, our eternity is secure. No matter how difficult your circumstances today may be, they are never too great for God. You can lay them down at His feet. When you give God 100%, He gives you a purpose and a hope that shines brightly until the day you are called home.
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