By Barbara Yandell
Barbara is the SVM2 USA National Lead Facilitator and has discipled and mobilized countless young people to embrace their calling to “go.”
The Greatest Generation
The Greatest Generation is perhaps the finest portrayal of humankind fully alive conformed to the image of Christ. These boys and young men stormed the beaches in Normandy in WW2 in the bravest and greatest defeat of evil and death the world has ever seen.
There has been much nostalgia and remorse that their kind is dying, that there will be no more brave and true men and women to meet the challenges of the era and rescue people held in evil and darkness.
Contraire! One of the verses of a classic song of faith “For all the saints” promises the next greatest generation.
When strife is fierce and warfare long, steals on the ear the distant triumph song, and hearts are brave again and arms are strong… alleluia…alleluia
Brave men and women will once again wear the armor and march into battle ready to defeat the evil prowling in the darkness. Yet, where does the courage and strength lie?
Question: What made the greatest generation?
Answer: The great depression.
These babies were born into a new world reeling from the horrors and loss of innocence of WW1. They grew up in a country crushed by the crash of 1929.The great depression was their inheritance. Therein lies their greatness.
Historian Stephen Ambrose describes one regiment the 101st airborne or easy company:
They were special in their values, idealists, putting a premium on being part of an elite unit, eager to join an outfit that would become family. They had been kicked around by the great depression. They had scars to show for it. They often did not have enough to eat and had their educations cut short. They came out of the great depression self reliant, accustomed to hard work with a strong sense of self worth and self-confidence. (Summarized from pages 16-17 Band of Brothers, Simon and Schuster Publishing, 1992)
Often it is easier to pray for an easy life. Yet, it is adversity that pushes us to greatness. Suffering in the human life is not to be avoided. We must learn the lessons and stretch ourselves to go beyond ourselves, embracing God’s strength. Herein lies our victory. Relying not on ourselves but on Christ within us true greatness becomes reality. We will see in later articles how these conditions fit them to “Go Together” as a team.
The 11th and 12th chapters of the book Hebrews are about the generations of faithful men and women. Hebrews 12: 7-13 describes how the Lord produces a core of great faith in his sons and daughters.
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[a] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
You are positioned by history, called by your heavenly Father and prepared by your circumstances to be that “next greatest generation.” There is a “last battle” prophesied in Revelation that will destroy death, the devil and evil. We must be ready to endure the pain in order to see the harvest of righteousness and peace born in our hearts and those who we disciple. As we endure the sacrifice and pain, the Lord of Hosts will free men and women from every tribe and tongue and nation to worship the lamb before the throne…SEMPER FI