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Behaving Valiantly

(Originally published in The Turret, Fort Knox, KY by Chaplain (CPT) Daryl Densford)

In Old Testament Scripture, First Chronicles 19:13 says:  “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God; and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight” (KJV).

This passage has much to say to us regarding how we live our lives in days like these whether as a soldier, DoD civilian or family member.  Henry Crane, a Methodist Minister during the Second World War explains it well:

“We behave valiantly whenever we make a situation worth something by being stronghearted; for through courageous, conscientious men [and women] God can do what is good in His sight.  We are not truly [upright] till we behave valiantly.  What is involved?

“First.  Receive whatever comes, good or bad, as a part of life; do not try to reject trouble as though it were an intruder.  Happiness comes not from avoiding hard situations, but from overcoming them….

“Second.  Respond to whatever comes; do not react.  Whenever we merely react mechanically, we function on a subhuman level.  As persons we can respond; that is, we can project into any situation something that is the unique contribution of a personality, something spiritual, creative….

“Third.  Rejoice in whatever comes; do not rebel.  In these dark hours– Rejoice (a) that we are matched with such a supremely significant age as this.  Rejoice (b) that we now have an unusual chance to test the validity of our … principles.  Rejoice (c) that we will discover what we ourselves are actually made of.  Rejoice (d) that we will be able to discover how tribulations bring patience, patience experience, experience hope—which means we will be living deeply, richly, greatly.  Rejoice (e) that we will have revealed to us the necessity and availability of God.”

Our prayer in times like these should be:  “Infinite Father, we would open our hearts to You willingly, confidently, completely.  Whatever comes to us, teach us how to receive it, respond to it, and rejoice in it valiantly, and thus transform tragedy into triumph, as did Your Son.  Amen.”     (Quotes from Henry H. Crane, Strength for Service to God and Country, Chaplain Norman E. Nygaard, ed.  New York:  Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1942.)

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