The struggle is just as real today
By Kim Swindell Wood | July 8, 2019 10:18 am
By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church
During the war of 1812, our nation was forced to defend its freedom against Great Britain once again. The British forces had succeeded, at Washington, only to fail at Fort McHenry, in Baltimore. They attempted a back-door entry around the gulf and through the Bayou. Their plan was to invade through New Orleans. The struggle was real. The British wanted what was not theirs, and the only thing that stood in the way of a southern victory for them was a Tennessee general and a rag-tag group of freed slaves and frontier woodsmen sharpshooters from the great state of Tennessee. Andrew Jackson and his band did the impossible and drove back the invader with a decisive victory.
The struggle was real for young Jockomo in late December 1776. He was the young son of a slave and passionate servant to Gen. George Washington. On Dec. 26, Washington crossed the Delaware to attack an opposing army. Young Jockomo wanted desperately to follow his great general into battle, but Washington feared for his safety because of his young age and inexperience. He tasked young Jockomo to stay with the horses and keep the lantern lit in the event they were unsuccessful and had to make a quick retreat across the river. You see, the struggle was real for our young nation, even for the children. Jockomo, maybe 10 or 12 years of age, served his country, served his general, and served the mission of freedom by keeping his post, despite the harsh winter conditions. He froze to death on the bank of that river serving the quest for freedom. Washington was so grieved at the loss of his young friend that he memorialized him with a cast image known to us today as the lawn jockey. Some have viewed it as racial, but, to the contrary, our first president meant it for honor, and we should as well.
The struggle was real for the settlement of this nation’s frontier. Daniel Boone was captured by a Shawnee and British war party in the winter of 1777-1778. In order to protect his home, of Boonesboro, Kentucky, he escaped his captors and ran on foot through mountain terrain and wilderness landscape, 160 miles in four days. He did this without a nice pair of Nike or ASICS running shoes. He ran the equivalent of over six marathons in 96 hours – barefoot. His fort was alerted, prepared, and successfully defended against the enemy war party.
The struggle was real 200 years ago, and it remains no less real to this day. Ephesians chapter 6 provides an adequate view of the struggle when Paul says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Paul knew the value of the struggle way more than any of us would care to imagine. But the greatest struggle comes from Jesus himself. I’m not talking about the struggles he endured through three and a half years of ministry nor the rejection of his own people including his very family. I’m not referring to his struggles with religious leaders, persecution, false accusations, illegal trial, scourging, crucifixion, or even the bartering of his clothing before his very eyes. No I’m talking about the struggle of knowing that you gave everything you possessed, even the breath that you breathe, to love passionately, only to not get loved in return. I think it hurts Jesus more to not love him back than it did to be crucified.
Love is a struggle, and the enemy knows the lifechanging power of Holy Spirit love. So the struggle is just as real today for freedom as it was the day our declaration was signed. Are you struggling to be loved? I’m talking about straight up letting someone in and allowing them to love you, because that’s what Jesus died for. Love him if you want, or reject him if you choose. Either way, it doesn’t remove the fact that he loves you. The struggle is real my friends. Give Jesus a chance. You may not know how to love him right now, and that’s OK. You just have to accept him, invite him in, and know he loves you.
Stop struggling with the best things of life. We will help you. Come on out to Christpoint Church on the square in Sparta. Our service times are 8 a.m. traditional and 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. progressive. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.