Deployment. The dreaded word in every military family.
The first time this word impacted my life was during engagement. My husband, Daniel, and I were engaged to be married when we received his orders to deploy to Afghanistan. That moment will forever be burned in my memory.
It was a chilly November day and I was standing by the driver’s side of his black Hummer. We had just finished packing up the gifts from our one and only bridal shower. He was hesitant and very concerned, and he made me promise not to be mad or discouraged. A million things rushed through my head: the wedding, his family, my family. Then, he solemnly told me the news with tears in his eyes that he would be shipping out to Afghanistan exactly one year almost to the date of our wedding. I would be spending our 1-year anniversary alone.
The news of that first deployment was a shock and made me question whether I was doing the right thing marrying a soldier scheduled to deploy. In our pre-marital counseling, we were encouraged not to live our lives in the fear of what could happen but to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We had to choose to believe that He had brought us together at this specific time for His good, glory, and purpose. If this was to be our journey, we would have to trust that He would give us the strength and grace to persevere through a deployment.
Three months into our marriage that mission was cancelled when President Obama pulled troops out of Afghanistan. We were grateful for more time together, but in our hearts we knew that “deployment” would come again some day. Almost two years later, the week before Christmas we received another set of orders. This time the deployment was real, and the mission would not be cancelled.
Deployment is a noun, derived from the verb “deploy”. The Webster’s dictionary describes deploy: “to arrange in a position of readiness, or to move strategically or appropriately.” As his unit began preparing for their military deployment, I realized that God was arranging and placing us in a position of readiness for His Kingdom work. We were now going to be in an ideal position to serve and make an impact for His Kingdom.
We are told in Scripture that as followers of Christ this world is not our home. Like Christ, we are not of this world and that we are sent into this world to believe, proclaim, and be sanctified by truth. These words were uttered by Christ in prayer the night he was betrayed and arrested,
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” (John 17:15-19)
We have all been deployed.
This present time on earth is a time of service. We are called as His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Where do you feel that the Lord is sending you out? It may in your home to be a godly example to your children. It may be in your neighborhood that you are reaching out and sharing the love of Christ. It may be on the mission field or battlefield in a foreign country. You can bring the truth of Christ into any and all aspects of life.
We are surround by those who need to see and hear the love and truth of Jesus Christ.
My heart is to encourage you that our God has placed us strategically where we are for His Kingdom purposes. Deployment is the mission and position that Christ has placed us in this world.
His final encouragement to us is: “And surely I am with you always.” (Matthew 28: 20)