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Every year, 100s of Civil war buffs get together and put on mock battles. They form military regiments modeled after the armed forces of that by-gone era and have artillery and cavalry units as well as foot soldiers. And they all don uniforms that soldiers of the North and South would have worn back then.

A couple of years ago, one such group was replaying the Battle of Hanover (it’s a town that influenced the outcome of the Battle of nearby Gettysburg). The southern forces under General J.E.B. Stuart had attacked a Federal cavalry unit driving it back through the streets of Hanover. But Union reinforcements arrived just in the nick of time and Stuart driven back, and was nearly captured.

Well, during the reenactment, it was a hot sweltering day. The civil war buffs are sweating as they maneuvered into position for their battle, facing delays and the usual frustrates involved in setting up such a display. However, one of the "Rebels" got so tired and hot and frustrated that he literally threw in the towel and headed for the refreshment tent. As he tugged off his wool uniform he was heard to grumble: "I quit. We’re not going to win anyway."

And, of course -- he was right! At best, the Battle of Hanover was a draw, but it contributed Confederate loss at Gettysburg.

So here was this civil war buff -- who knows HOW everything is going to turn out. He’s tired, he’s hot, and discouraged. He KNOWS his side isn’t going to win anyway... so he quits.

APPLY: And you know - that’s why many people quit. They just know they’re going to lose (whatever struggle it is they’re facing). They’ve give up hope. They’ve gotten discouraged. It’s not worth it to soldier on, and so they throw in the towel and walk away.

(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, "Til Death Do Us Part" 2/15/2009)

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