Sunday, June 24, 2012

Learning life in the Foxholes

Many years ago, when I was in basic training, we spent three days and nights in a forest of South Carolina. I was doing my army training at Fort Jackson located in Columbia, South Carolina. I never forget the first day. It was a hot and steamy morning. One could see the heat waves ripple across the horizon. The Drill sergeant marched us all to different locations spread out within the woods. Two were placed at different zones. Each one of us were given a small shovel , and we were commissioned to start digging our foxholes. The foxhole had to be a specific measurement in order to pass the Drill sergeant's inspection. It had to be equal on each side and armpit deep. The Sump trenches had to be 2 feet deep and 5 inches wide. Just big enough to kick a grenade into and deep enough to hopefully stop some of the impact from the explosion. The sump trenches had to be one on the left and one on the right. We literally dug the hole all day. With the small shovels and my partner not willing to do all the work; I ended up digging our hole of protection.  We had to get done before sundown because we were told the enemy might attack. ( This was a mock simulation. There was another platoon opposite of us deep in the woods as well.) I spent the next two days and nights in that foxhole. It was quite an experience. My partner and I talked some, sweated some, watched the movement in the middle of the night and ensured our foxhole was ready for action. You never get the fullness of life until you have spent sometime in the trenches. The Foxholes of life are used to teach you a lot about yourself. We did not have a shower for three days and three nights. Some how I contracted a rash all over my body from the poison Oak plant. It was a treacherous experience but one I will never forget. You never know your determination until you'll presented with a situation to prove your stamina.

We all have foxholes to dig and to live in at times. Sometimes our life takes the detour to uncertainty, and we find ourselves in the foxhole looking out at the movement in the woods. One thing I have learned and discovered is that my partner in my spiritual foxhole is Jesus Christ. He is right there with me regardless of my circumstance. He is guarding the hole and ensuring we are battle ready. There is a real enemy out there. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy but my Lord is faithful. Don't be afraid to experience life during the hard times as well. This is the time where you grow the most. This is the time where you learn more about yourself and about your Lord. You are in the Foxhole together. He hears your grumbling stomach from the gnawing hunger. He sees your blood and sweat beating off your face. He is aware of the fatigue and the loneliness you are experiencing. He is right there with you in the Foxhole. In Deuteronomy 31:6 it states  Be strong and courageous. Don't tremble! Don't be afraid of them! The LORD your God is the one who is going with you. He won't abandon you or leave you." He will not abandon us when the fighting gets intense. He stays in the Foxhole with us the whole time. Maybe you are facing uncertainty. Maybe you are uncertain of your call or maybe you are battling something fierce. Know this? and I mean this with all passion and due diligence. Know that the Lord is right there with you. Know that His Holy Spirit is there to bring comfort and the power to endure to the end. One thing is certain as the evil of this world increases; the battles against the saints of God will increase as well. We must learn now on how to rely on our Lord in the times in the Foxhole.

And one other thing, after were were finished with our 3 day experience, we had to bury our foxholes and leave no evidence of our arrival.  Guess what? When you have fought the battles and have won in the Lord. Then you get to bury the foxhole. You get to bury all the blood and sweat. You get to declare that you have overcome, and you have made it through. There is something about burying that foxhole. I remember feeling a little remorse because I have spent three days in this hole. I had endured through much in this God forsaken hole and now I was burying it. But as I pushed each scoop full of dirt into the hole. I felt like a winner. I felt like I had accomplished much and have overcome. Embrace the Foxhole and never look back.
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