God's Veterans

There's nothing quite like reading a book, listening to a song, or talking with someone who can help express precisely how we feel or give us insight into something we're dealing with, especially when we can't. Amazingly, they put our feelings and struggles into words. It's usually because that person is writing or speaking from a chapter in their own life story - from their past or present pain, heartache, grief, or adversity; what they are enduring and overcoming, or what they already have. 

Shared life experiences genuinely speak to us and move us in a way nothing else can. Therefore, if we are called to help others heal physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually, how much more effective and understanding will we be if we've gone through similar experiences ourselves?

It's not a prerequisite, however, helping others with the very things we've gone through or struggled with certainly makes a difference in how we recognize and empathize with their struggle. After all, no one can fully understand what they've never actually experienced themselves, and God knows it.

He is raising up veterans in the Body of Christ who've been there and done that so real, genuine, and heart-filled ministry can flow from out of them and into the lives of others who are needing the wisdom, understanding, and compassion that living it only brings. And these "veterans" won't necessarily be defined by their age but by their wide-ranging personal life experiences.

I believe God's veterans will minister in truth and grace, coupled with courage and humility. They will operate with the pure love of the Father's heart. They will walk in true servanthood, compassion, and authority as Jesus did. And they will be led and anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Their battle scars will speak for themselves, and their words will carry the weight and depth of knowledge and credibility only personal experience uniquely gleans. In other words, they will be needed for appointed times because they carry pearls of wisdom, revelation, and insight that no one else does. And it's because of what they've been through.

God often takes others out ahead for the sake and benefit of those coming after them, sometimes years or even decades later. Call them forerunners, pioneers, or trailblazers, but this process of being taken out ahead is necessary because experience and seasoning are imperative.

It doesn't always make sense while it's happening, but the Lord will use our trials, sufferings, hardships, struggles, and battles to transform us more into the likeness of Jesus and forge healthy fruit in our lives - if we let Him. 

Only God can work all these things together for our good. Only God can use it for His Kingdom and for the benefit and well-being of other people. And only God can birth something profoundly beautiful and valuable out of something ugly and painful.

Consider this -

Maybe the reason your circumstances have yet to change, even though you're doing everything right, is because the Lord is teaching, training, and equipping you now in order to help others down the road who'll be going through something similar and will need a seasoned, helping hand to guide, encourage, and instruct them. 

Perhaps you are where you are because He is going to use you to bring about the change you and so many others are praying for. 

Or perhaps God has concealed the answer, the discovery, the revelation, the cure, or the breakthrough inside of you.

Take heart, dear friends. Keep your eyes on the author and perfecter of your faith, and stay the course because you may just be one of these veterans He's preparing to bring out.

* The Scripture reference the Father gave me for this word is Isaiah 61, particularly Isaiah 61:3b: 

"They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."

Michelle Holderman 
Copyright © 2013 

Photo source: Pexels.com


  1. This spoke so powerfully to me today Michelle. I really need to hear this as I struggle today on my healing journey. God is speaking to me through you. Bless you for being His vessel.

    1. Renee, you were one of the people on my mind as I wrote this. I believe the Lord is preparing to use you (and Joel) in healing ministry. You've both been through so much and truly know and understand the complexities of the healing process (physically, emotionally and spiritually). Thanks for sharing your heart. I so understand the struggles. We will look back one day and see that it was all worth it. That our Father was working all things for our good and His purpose. Loving hugs to you, my friend.

    2. I would love to be used by God in this way....we would. I have learned there are many on side by side journeys like mine. So many layers of healing needed, so many levels. I'm glad we are friends......how are you doing?

  2. What a beautiful post, Michelle. A friend and I were just discussing this yesterday. I'm going to have to print it out and give it to her. I think she would love it. I don't think she blogs or is on the computer much. But I think what you say in this would be music to her ears. This is another powerful one for me too. You and Renee, you guys always know how to touch me with your writing. What a blessing to have you two as friends.

    1. Ginny, thanks so much. You are a blessing to me as well. Perhaps more than you know. I so appreciate you (and Renee) and how you blog. It's unqiue to who you are. Thanks for coming by. I have some catching up to do on my blog reading. Love you both, my sweet friends. Hugs.

  3. Hey Michelle...you hit this right on. "He will take what the enemy meant for our harm and use it for our good. And for the good and well-being of others." I believe that. Have an awesome day out there Ragamuffin Saint. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Nikki. I believe it too. That's exactly what He did in your life. You're a living testament of this. Have a great Sunday, friend :)