Peace family, for several days now, I’ve been thinking about the World War II generation: the guts, the determination to do what’s right, the survival in the face of suffering, the perseverance, the self-reliance, the faith, and the hope. In such a bleak-looking time with Hitler murdering millions of people, the Nazis taking over multiple countries, thousands of young men dying, supplies short, and families having to sacrifice and step up into unfamiliar and challenging roles, there were many opportunities to lose hope.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the people who were left on the home front: the moms, the children, and the “4-F”s. Women, who surely felt intimidated and under-qualified, took on the “manly” work that was needed- machine work, digging canals, painting bombs, searchlight operators, being test pilots for airplanes, all while trying to provide for their children and teach them right from wrong- in order to help the country survive. Children worked in Victory Gardens so that their families could grow their own food, sold war bonds, and collected scrap rubber, aluminum foil, and all kinds of other things to help in the effort. Men who couldn’t serve in the forces served as watchmen, air wardens, and in England, the “Dad’s Army,” trained to protect the women and children in the event that the Nazis tried to take over England, assuming that they would all be killed as they bought time for the official troops to arrive. Everyone sacrificed basic commodities that we take for granted, such as fresh meat, sugar, and the privilege of new clothes and shoes. Their attitude was “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
Even today, when evil seems to be winning, we should take heart and live like the wives and families of World War II (men included). Although it’s not exactly the same in that we know that Christ will have victory and return for us (and we won’t be receiving any Western Union telegrams to the contrary), we can apply the same sort of perseverance they had to our walk with Jesus. We can do what’s right, even when it hurts, encourage and help the vulnerable around us, keep marching on, and hold relentlessly to the future hope that God has for us when we will be physically reunited with him. As the Bible says, with God for us, what can man do to us?
Anyway, just a few thoughts from your friendly, neighborhood Kat.