Today I said goodbye to a friend. He’s headed back east, to the beginning of a life that will take him crazy places. I’m staying here for now, visiting home briefly, but very much doubt I’ll be in his neck of the woods any time in the next few years. But if we don’t meet again in this world, I’ll see him in Zion.
And that’s important. We’re here on this earth fighting for something. Conscious or not, willfully or not, we’re all caught up in a war. On one side, there is a kingdom filled with beauty, glory, righteousness, justice, and overflowing with grace. On the other, rank upon rank of the dead. Out of that, let me draw two things: how we fight this battle, and what we’re fighting for.
The Lord made a big world, and a lot of people. My buddy was called in one direction, I am called in another. This morning I read an article and sent it along to a friend called to a different country altogether (maybe several). Another friend from my corner of the union is considering re-crafting his own method of deploying the Gospel. We’re all called to different places, but we’re all called by the same Lord.
The lesson here is that we all have different battles, but we fight using the same Gospel. So we should support one another in that, not dividing against each other because we all think our battle is the most important in the war. We’re not the Captain of the Lord’s Army, we don’t make that call. But we are all soldiers, and we can pray for and encourage our brothers in arms. With the state of communications today, we should be doing so often. And we should start getting good at it.
And what unites believers on the East Coast, the Gulf, Canada, the Middle East, and Northern Idaho? Saints from Bloemfontein to Bristol, Canton to the Congo? We are all fighting for the same King, and the same country. At the end of the day, we will meet at the marriage supper of the Lamb, in the day when Zion is free and Christ not only rests in our hearts, but walks before us again.
This is true whether the false gospel we are fighting is Islam or secular progressivism, ancestor worship or scientism. And just as the darkness will have a different feel for different men in different places, so the light will shine differently wherever it goes. The Church is a stained-glass window, but the light behind it is all one.
So when you’re left standing there, bidding farewell to a friend God has called to a different field, rejoice for him, pray with him, encourage him. He’s got a battle to fight, and he needs the support. And when it’s all over, you’ll meet again in the Lord’s presence. Lord willing, you’ll both be receiving your “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”