One is the veteran… Super Bowl MVP’s, numerous records, future Hall of Famer, an Icon….. the other is a rookie with a lot of potential but few accomplishments. We admire those who have accomplished much, who have won honors, who are considered the veterans, who have persevered. They come from all walks of life. Look at the soldier with his many medals and especially the Purple Heart. Look at the scholar at a graduation ceremony with the multicolored gowns, the grizzled ballplayer with evidence of having played long and well. Look at the policeman, the fireman, the tradesman, the wise doctor who comes into the hospital with glances of respect. Look at the father & mother of a family who laid it on the line to raise a family instilling in their children the truths of God’s law and love. And business…, I remember my first days at Pfizer meeting John McKeen who as president and CEO took the company from $50 million in 1950 to $500 million by 1968. He told me “son if you love God, love your family, and work hard, you’ll do well with this company.” He was a legend and I listened to him. Pick a field and you’ll find that the veteran who has faced the obstacles and persevered is honored.
The scripture says a similar thing. The third chapter of the Book of Wisdom says,
“The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them….chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed. God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.” (Wisdom 3:1-6)
In Psalm 116, it says “precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones … his faithful ones, his saints.” (Ps. 116:15)
God also honors his veterans, his faithful ones, those who have fought the good fight of faith, who have persevered, who have won the race. They are precious to him.
So it’s important that we give our all for Christ. Certainly we fail at times, fall on our face, sin, disappoint – so did all the veterans and heroes mentioned above. But, they didn’t quit when they were knocked down, they got up and finished their race. By God’s grace, we will do the same and one day hear “well done good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master”.