Still Standing

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By Joe Witcher

The year I spent in Afghanistan was one of the hardest years of my life. On May 8th we had our first ambush and SGT Erick Klusacek, my battle buddy, and I supported each other’s movements.

30 days later I spoke at his funeral.

On August 27th our Troop was again attacked in an ambush and an IED killed SPC Chad Coleman and PFC Novak. The attack also wounded 3x other Soldiers in my Platoon. That year I had to speak at three funerals for men who were only in their twenties. Half of my platoon wounded in action, I was hit myself by an IED.

At times it felt like the entire effort that year was lost. The enemy had gained the ground we spent the past few months protecting. My platoon had suffered both from losses and wounds. The parable that spoke to me about these trials is in the book of Matthew:

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.” 
- Matthew 7:24-25

These verses say that after the storm the house was still standing. I know this may seem obvious, but I used to think trials were God's way of breaking us down to build us up. In this story the house does not fall down. It weathers the storm. God does not want us to just survive our trials. To be struck down, and then rebuilt. The whole purpose is for us to trust God and have faith that we are already built for the storm. After a trial we look for areas to improve and refortify parts of the house, but we aren't rebuilding. I know trials are tough, but God is tougher. Ask Him not to help us get through the storm, but to give us an understanding that we are already designed to survive it through Him.