In the US Civil War, 625,000 men lost their lives due to war or war related injury (and disease). Many of my ancestors fought in the Civil War and those that survived, returned home as shattered men. The brutality of war has never ceased, but it is different now. Modern warfare and medical science have improved the chances of surviving, and certainly, lowered the risk of death by disease. In the Civil War, however, soliders who were not killed on the battlefield, died shortly thereafter due to lack of proper care. There simply were not enough doctors and nurses to care for the wounded, and the wounds were so severe that little to nothing could be done to save someone. Most died horribly painful deaths, either on the field or in the field hospital.
I am reminded of this fact simply because it is something I can relate to, and understand. Wars are caused by men who desire power, position, and possessions. Yes, many wars are fought in the name of justice, as was the case for the Civil War. Slavery needed to be eradicated from America, but this war did little to actually remove the social stigma associated with slavery. Africans and those born here later on may have been freed, but they didn't receive real freedom until nearly 100 years later. The ensuing years brought increasing racial tensions and still today many African-Americans feel disenfranchised, even though they have been in America (or their ancestors) for over 200 years.
As we remember those who have given their lives for the freedom we all enjoy, let us today not forget that war never ends anything. It simply causes more pain for those who are left to deal with the ravages of it. May we seek peace, if at all possible. In Romans 12:18, the Word says "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men" (KJV), or in modern paraphrase, "Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone." (NLT)
Is it possible to live in peace with everyone? No, not really. The wickedness and evil of a sin filled and fallen world prohibit true peace from ever taking place, but as Children of God, we can endeavor to be peaceful people. If the God of Peace, the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus lives and reigns in your heart, then you can indeed live peaceably among men. It takes great effort to do so, but it can be done.
My prayer this day is for all of God's Children to remember that our Prince of Peace calls us to live peaceably among all men. Trust Him to bring His Peace, the True Peace into your life today. If you have not trusted Him as your Savior, and are lacking that Peace that brings contentment and satisfaction, consider His offer to you today:
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today, and you can be saved. You will experience the peace that brings joy and contentment into your heart and life.