James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
Romans 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.”
Hebrews 10:36 “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
Sir Douglas Bader lived a life of passion and perseverance highlighted during his honorable service in the British Royal Air Force. Already an accomplished pilot and aerobatics champion, Bader experienced a horrible crash on December 14, 1931. While he escaped with his life, he had both legs amputated and had his promising flight career cut short. His simple logbook entry for that day was: “Crashed slow-rolling near ground. Bad show.” Though he fought hard to remain on flying status, his repeated requests and attempts were denied.
All of this changed in 1939 when war concerns swept through Europe. Bader, who had regained his strength, who had demonstrated skill on his artificial legs, and who had worked tirelessly to convince the authorities that he was valuable to the British cause was finally successful; the Royal Air Force called him to return to service. Bader reported immediately for flying duty, and quickly was asked to employ his skill against the Germans. Before being shot down in 1941 over occupied Europe, Bader had achieved 22 confirmed solo aerial victories and had participated brilliantly in the Battle of Britain and other decisive portions of early World War II. Even as a prisoner of war, Bader made so many escape attempts that the Germans threatened to take away his artificial legs and eventually housed him in a camp with the highest levels of security.
Douglas Bader’s story is one of resilience in spite of all challenges. Though situations looked bleak at times, Bader’s dogged perseverance enabled him to fully recover and live up to his historic potential. Frankly, he was able to regain a level of amazing usefulness to the cause because he refused to give up. Fortunately for the Royal Air Force and the British, they eventually recognized that Bader should be given a second chance to serve his country. They would have overlooked a hero if they had continued to dismiss him and his amazing courage, talent, and skill. As a result of their recognition of his value and worth, he returned to serve with valor and distinction.
No matter how bleak things may look in 21stCentury secular culture, we are to never give up. It may be our dogged perseverance that will enable us to fully recover and live up to our historic potential. Our amazing usefulness to the cause may only be revealed if we refuse to ever give up, and if we serve with steady and consistent valor and distinction. Similarly, we must never give up on those who are around us. We may overlook a hero if we dismiss those who have crashed and fallen.
PLEASE PRAY FOR A GOD-GIVEN PERSEVERANCE THAT CAN IMPACT OUR WORLD IN SPITE OF THE OBSTACLES WE FACE. May our story be one of resilience in spite of all challenges.