Depths of Despair
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1
The following is a story of an imagined participant in the Battle of Gettysburg. This battle was a turning point for the United States, and the hopes and dreams of those involved are landmarks to the heart and soul of our nation. In anticipation of our annual Gettysburg battlefield training, TJC authors have taken creative liberty to generate some of those hopes, informed by history, that resonate through generations to our present time. Our hope is that it ministers to your spirit.
From the Journal of 2nd LT George Dennen, 73rd New York:
July 2nd, 1863
Weeks and weeks of marching and skirmishing have blended together in such a way that I can scarcely distinguish one day from the next. It’s been almost two months since I held my brother Thomas’ body, slain in Chancellorsville Virginia. I can think of nothing else. His face haunts my dreams and keeps me from sleeping. I barely eat. It’s as if life has no color anymore now that he isn’t here. I know my men worry about me. They’re always complimenting my uniform, of all things...and my company sergeant is always looking at me strangely. I don’t think I’ll last much longer without Thomas. He was my twin, my rock. It’s like they shot both of us that day, I just know I’ll be dead soon. And now, we’ve chased the Army of Northern Virginia all the way into Pennsylvania. God himself must have aligned himself with these rebels. Major General Sickles has just ordered us advance to a peach orchard a mile or so away. Thomas loved peaches in summer. Perhaps I’ll have one for him.
DAILY BATTLE ORDER:
George and Thomas Dennen were real Union officers in the 73rd New York infantry. George was killed at Gettysburg in the fighting at the peach orchard, only a couple months after losing his brother in Chancellorsville. We can only speculate whether George knew the Lord, but history tells us that he was deep in despair from the loss of his brother. As Kingdom Men we are guaranteed heartbreak and loss in this life. In a situation like George, would you fall into despair? Or would you press forward in the Lord? God promises healing and restoration to all who call on Him: “To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. - Isaiah 61:3
SIGN UP FOR GETTYSBURG: Calling all Kingdom Men! The Joshua Commission will hold its annual Gettysburg Battlefield training 15-16 October or meet us on the battlefield on 16 October at 0830
Click the link above to sign up. Please join us in Gettysburg, experience genuine fellowship with Christian men, and equip yourself for Victory as a prince and warrior in God’s kingdom!