A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
They are brothers—though they come from different families. By ties weaved together under conditions of stress and danger, a group of people can become so tightly connected that they regard each other as true brothers, even if they are not related by blood—unless one counts spilled blood.
Civilians have heard about the Band of Brothers and have been entertained by Hollywood’s depiction. But those who have had their lives tied to a group like this know there is more to it than can be seen on the screen or explained to families.
Typically, this type of brotherhood (which can include women) is formed by former strangers undergoing such trying and dangerous times that their lives have become fused together.
For them, “I’ve got your six!” is not merely a nice phrase, but a promise that will be backed up with action.
That’s a special setting.
The Bible shows there is even more to the picture.
A brother such as this, was born for just such a time as this. The Lord God, in infinite wisdom, knew what his servants were going to run into down the path of life. He knew the time would come when they would need someone to battle alongside them.
The Lord of life controlled when these people would be born. He enabled them to have the necessary training and skills. He saw to it that these very people would be put together at this time in history. He is the one who forms the band of brothers.
We think in terms of coincidence and luck. He works by design.
It’s humbling to think that, with no input from us, we were born into a certain family, at a certain time, in a certain place on this globe. He did the same to others so they could be part of his plan for our lives.
The God who promised: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) was preparing to keep that promise even before we were born. He arranged for the help to be there when adversity arose.
Of course, this applies to more than military persons and to situations apart from war. People of all ages and circumstances are under the watchful eye of their loving Savior. He sends the friend indeed in times of need.
More than normal helpers or caregivers, these friends are extraordinary. They are tied to us in a special way. They become like family. Of them, we might say, “Blessed be the tie that binds!”
We are indeed blessed when our heavenly Father sends special people into our lives just when we need them most!
This is a part of a larger plan and an even superior band of brothers. It includes one our eyes have not yet seen. He is the brother sent from heaven.
He was there when we were born. He was there as we traveled the winding roads of life. He will stay with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He will be there to welcome us to the other side.
As we celebrate Independence Day, we remember those special people the Lord has sent into our lives at times of adversity. We think of the Son of God who took on human flesh to fight for us in the battle for our souls.
We pause on this day to salute our brother from heaven.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we walk our path in life, you have brought in others to travel part of the way with us. We especially thank you for those who have helped us through adversity. Continue to provide such people when we need them. Enable us to be there for others in their hours of need. This we ask in the name of Jesus, the best brother of all. Amen.
Points to ponder:
- Why does God sometimes use a non-Christian to be a friend and brother?
- Why might a band of brothers be resented by family members?
- How does Jesus fit the role of being a brother?
Written by Rev. Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.