Grace Brethren military chaplains consistently put themselves in harm’s way to share the message of the Gospel with their soldiers. Chaplain (First Lieutenant) Jeff Mason is no different. Currently stationed in Iraq, Jeff serves with the 157th Combat Service and Support Brigade. He recently wrote about his experiences in his blog, Kneeling on the Battlefield:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4, ESV
This verse means a whole lot more when you travel through a town in a combat zone in a Humvee. For 3 days I was on a battlefield circulation so that I could visit with some of my soldiers who were stationed at various bases around Iraq. While riding in the back of the Humvee all I could do is keep an eye out on possible attacks to our convoy as other soldiers drove, navigated, and operated the weapons. But even though we were traveling though a possible hostile area I was not worried because the soldiers I was traveling with were well trained and I knew they would keep me safe. Each one of them has told me at one time or another that they would protect me. There were a number of times during my battlefield circulation where the situation was dangerous but there was always someone by my side ready to defend me.
I have told my soldiers that I would do the same for them. I would do whatever is necessary to help them and I would risk my life to do so. I am their shepherd and they are my sheep. How much more is Jesus like that? He is the great shepherd who takes care of us his sheep and gave his life for us. He is always with us when we travel down roads that are dark, treacherous, or dangerous. He is right there beside us to help us along the way and if necessary to pick us up and carry us.