It's Christmas Eve, the sound of freedom is hushed, festive lights are lighting yards across the land, families are preparing for the morning's activities and I am sure there are quite a few excited and exhausted children in their beds trying to stay awake to see if they can wait up for good ole Saint Nick.
If you are not familiar with the term, " the sound of freedom", it is what we affiliated with the Air Force call the sound of jets. Any given night here at Luke Air Force Base, we can hear this sound. Almost every day it is a given. In time, we learn to tune it out but on nights like these their absence is quite conspicuous.
It reminds me that in many of the homes in our community, there is a very important person missing. Some are half way across the world, others are half way across our nation but either way a parent is missing this most celebrated of holidays.
In some of our homes, the hope that their loved one is coming home soon has been dashed. Just a week ago, six of our own were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. That is six families that have stopped celebrating and have begun the grieving process. This is a fear of any military spouse or child and this is a very real fear. It could happen to me or my neighbor or my best friend.
When I hear of such a tragedy, I pray for the victims and their families. I can not even begin to imagine what they must be feeling. Any time of the year it is difficult to lose a loved one, but I can only imagine that losing someone so close to the holidays is even harder.
Though my heart breaks for anyone who loses a loved one, I also know that God tells me that their sacrifice is not in vain. Their sacrifice is the ultimate gift that they could have given either you or I. For they have paid the ultimate price, they have demonstrated the greatest love of all. John 15:13 says, " Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (NIV)
We use the word "friend" colloquially to describe someone we know personally but it is also defined as, " one that is of the same nation, party, or group" (1) according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. God in his great wisdom has given us words to comfort us whenever we may be hurting, even if it is for people who we don't know and will probably never know. He does know that we will come to his Word seeking comfort and relief any situation He is prepared. But I digress, as we settle in to our evening routines and prepare for the celebration of God's greatest gift, I ask that you remember those who are unable to be with their loved ones for whatever reason. I also, ask that you pray for those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones. These six souls lost a week ago are not the only ones we have lost this year and tragically they will not be the last. Until everyone of our troops come home, remember them and their families in your prayers. May your Christmas Eve be blessed with peace.
- I was raised in Niceville, Florida. I met my husband who is also active duty military in 1997. We married and had our first son in 1998. . When I was pregnant with my first son, I gave my life to Jesus. I was not very committed to Him but I accepted Him as my savior. We moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2001. In 2006 we bought a home in North Las Vegas and one of my neighbors was a pastor for a church plant. My son and I began to attend fellowship dinners at their home and then we began to attend church with them. In 2010, my friend's son drowned at a party that we were at, he was 7 years old. He had an immeasurable love for God in him. We had known him since he was 3 years old. That very night I decided that his life and death would not be in vain and I finally really committed my life to the Lord. Since then, I have learned and been blessed with the opportunity to grow spiritually closer to God. I am planning on pursuing my nursing degree here in Arizona and I am looking forward to serving God as He sees fit.