The war came home this week. One of our own, Jason Harkins, was struck down by a roadside bomb in Iraq . And with that strike, the heart of every mother wretched within her chest. It is our nightmare, to bury a child. There are no words, only unutterable groans and tears as mother’s hearts unite in this horror. The news is especially cruel the week of Mother’s Day. The fact that he died a hero’s death is little consolation when standing beside your son’s grave. God must’ve cried like this as he watched his son die at the hands of men. I am convinced that his heart broke that dark day, just as our hearts are broken today for Jason’s family.
Violence isn’t new to our world. It has been here since the dawn of time when man chose to follow his own selfish desires. Caine and Able were the first to learn of its power, and we have been killing each other ever since…as God weeps. History shows us that this is much bigger than a war in Iraq . It is bigger than our current politics, though the devil would have you think otherwise. This is a war for our souls. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13. This verse is clear, we are not fighting men and as long as we think that our war is against men, we will loose. It is not an accident that our country is so divided about this war…that is the master plan of the devil. Divide and conquer. It is only when we unite on our faces in prayer that the battle will be won.
If you need proof that this war is a spiritual battle just ask Jason’s mom, Nancy Fritchey. Nancy is a woman of prayer. She knows the power of God on her knees. Last week she helped lead a prayer service for the National Day of Prayer. She cried out to God for our nation. She poured out a mother’s heart before the throne for our soldiers and there was power in her prayers. Today she weeps for her own. Do you think it is coincidence that her son was killed? On the day of prayer, the spiritual battle heated up. She struck a blow to the forces of darkness and they did not like it. The retaliation was swift; the message unmistakable, ‘if you pray people you love will die.’ Isn’t it just like the enemy of our souls, to threaten us with our greatest fear…the fear of losing a child? He would like nothing more than to grieve us into not praying. He would like us to fight each other, argue politics, and hate one another. After all, he comes to steal, kill and destroy. Our spiritual vision is distorted when we are in emotional pain, then we fall for his tactics and enter into his plan. His strategy has not changed for generations.
This week a family is broken in our own community. The violence half a world away reached out and grabbed us to remind us that our children are not safe. More than ever, our prayers are needed. We weep with the family on this Mother’s Day as they await their son’s homecoming. We cry out to God on their behalf. We hold them up in prayer when they need God’s strength. We do not give up the spiritual battle for our children or our country. We will fight…on our knees.