Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Greater Love

on May 22, 2015

This week’s season finale of The Flash—a show on The CW about a man with superhuman speed—was intense. Just when it seemed all was lost and everyone was going to die, one of the characters sacrificed his life to save the people he loved. A few minutes later, the Flash himself bravely faced death in an effort he was told would fail. But he raced into danger anyway, knowing that he had to at least try.

He’ll be okay, though. I heard the show has been renewed for a second season.

I love superhero shows and movies, and I think it’s this idea of sacrifice that appeals to me most. Yes, they all have a superpower, but they’re often willing to go to the limits of that power—doing whatever is necessary to save lives.

Have you noticed the Bible is full of superheroes? Samson, of course, and King David with his mighty men. Read 2 Samuel 23 and see how they’d equal the strength and stamina of just about any of Marvel’s Avengers. And Jesus gave His disciples superhero nicknames, changing Simon’s name to Peter the Rock and calling James and John the Sons of Thunder.

But the book of Hebrews gives us a whole rundown. In fact, the author spends all of chapter eleven describing amazing heroes of the faith of whom, he concludes, “the world was not worthy.” Men and women who followed God without question and, often, to death. And yet they, “having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (11:39–40).

What this says to me is, these people served God without question and with their lives and, because of that, He made them a promise. But they won’t see the fulfillment of that promise until we’re all together. He did this to provide something better—not for them, but for us.

It’s not “fair” to them, but it is merciful to us.

This Memorial Day, let’s remember those who gave of themselves for our freedom. Normal people, full of heart and courage, who willingly sacrificed all because they believed something. I think Samwise Gamgee said it best in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

Memorial Day by tiverylucky

Image courtesy of tiverylucky/freedigitalphotos.net.

It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

And Frodo asks, “What are we holding onto, Sam?”

To which Sam replies, “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Or, as Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

Lord willing, none of us will have to make that kind of sacrifice. But we can live in immense gratitude to those who have.

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