Summary: Sermon discussing separation from home during military deployment.
CH (CPT) Keith J. Andrews
All Scriptures Marked NKJV; The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Readers Digest had a story about a soldier’s who dropped fiancé off at the airport after a week long visit.
The young girl was waiting for her plane and began to realize how much she missed her fiancé. So she began to cry.
The woman next her tried to comfort her by asking what was wrong. The girl told her how she was on her way home after visiting her fiancé.
The woman said, “If you truly love him, it will work out. I know. My ex-husband was in the army.”
We in the military are all too familiar with separations. We experience separations due to back to back deployments, training exercises, and schools.
How should we react during the separation?
We can look to Jesus as an example on how to react, when we are separated from people we love.
In John Chapter 14 Jesus is explaining several things to the disciples.
It was the night that he would be betrayed. Jesus knew it was. He was giving them his last words of instructions.
Jesus knew that in the very near future, he would be separated from his disciples; the friends that he has made and the friends that have followed him. He knows that in a matter of days, he will be hung on a cross and die – only to rise from the grave.
The separation that Jesus is talking in John 14, however, is not about his death, but his ascension into heaven.
In heaven, he knows that he won’t be physically with them as we understand it. He won’t eat with them. He won’t share stories with them. In a very real sense, Jesus will be separated from them.
But by the way Jesus acts, teaches, and provides for his friends he gives us an example in how we are to live when we are separated from our love ones.
He first shows us that
When we are separated, remember why we are separated.
Look at John 14: 1-3:
1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (Jo. 14:1-3, NKJV)
Jesus is going to prepare a place for us. He must leave in order to do this. We can get into a long theological discussion of why Jesus ascended into heaven, but here in John 14 he says that he is going to prepare a place for us.
Jesus has a purpose for the separation.
My wife, Monica, makes the best cakes. I especially like her chocolate, chocolate cake. Sometimes, she will make a cake and I will have it for breakfast everyday for a week.
I love her cakes.
She is very particular about following the recipes. When she is cooking, she always separates the egg whites from the egg yolks. Coincidently, all cakes recipes have that requirement.
There are several reasons for this. The one that makes the most sense is concerning the baking temperatures.
The whites cook at a lower temperature than the yolks. If you leave the whites in, you will have a “scrambled egg” in the middle of the cake and it will be completely destroyed.
There is a purpose for the separation.
We are separated from our love ones for a reason. We are all in the military or supporting those who are in the military. We have a purpose being away.
I talk a lot about my journal. One of the biggest motivations for me to journal is to tell my little girls why their Daddy was gone the first year of their life. That God had called me to go to Iraq to be with soldiers.
When you speak to your loved ones, you need to remind them of that. There is a reason why you are separated from your family. You are here to bring freedom to a world of terror and tyranny. And it is an important reason. You may also have other reasons besides that one.
Jesus example also teaches that
When we are separated, remember that commitment is to be reinforced, not abandoned.
Look at John 14: 12-14
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (Jn 14:12, NKJV)