Skip to main content

Wounded Soldiers

By Erin Erickson

worship practice_wounded soldiers copyI started my career with Thirst Missions with a flight to Belize for an all-staff retreat. After a long day of flying, we took the water taxi out to the sun-drenched island of Caye Caulker, a fitting spot for a time of deep meetings and connecting.

Belizeans are typically lighthearted and gregarious, and I felt quickly at home and welcomed in like family. We told stories of past mission trips and of the people and culture of Belize.

As I got to know our Belizean staff (and our US staff) better, another storyline developed. These past few years have been times of trial and testing for many among our staff, including many who have suffered deaths in their families, or endured something like death. The deep pain of loss was still very present for many of them, and the typical lightheartedness gave way to poignant conversations and questions.

These conversations added to the reel that had been playing in my mind for days, a line from a play by Thornton Wilder:

The Angel that Troubled the Waters

by Thornton Wilder

Without your wounds where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.

It made me proud to be a wounded soldier serving alongside other wounded soldiers for the good of Belize and the Gospel of Jesus. Too often we want to hide our sufferings or leave them out when we share our faith. For some reason we think our sufferings will make God look bad or discredit the Christian faith. But Paul urges us to brag about it.

1 Corinthians 12:7-10

I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

You will get to this place of delight in weakness only when you let go of yourself and receive the abundant Grace of God. In Love’s service only wounded soldiers can serve. When we’re weak, we need God. As we rely on Him for strength, he’s able to fill us with His strength, strength sufficient to carry us on and do His work. That’s why we’re strong in weakness—we’re not relying on ourselves, we’re relying on Him. Our human suffering is used by God to reach a wounded and helpless people. In Love’s service  only wounded soldiers can serve.

Erin Erickson is a missions consultant with Thirst Missions.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.