My Tribute to Kevin Trimble
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Tim 2:3-5
As many of you already know, Kevin Trimble graduated high school last year and went to serve in the US Army in Afghanistan. He was only there 6 months when he stepped on a IED and was left with only one arm. (Triple Amputee) He is 19 and 3 other of his siblings serve in the military and all attend our church. While I have yet to see him I think of him often. He will, for the next two years, undergo extensive physical therapy in San Antonio with many other amputees from the war.
The above scripture was one of Paul’s last words to Timothy. Paul was facing death by the hands of Nero. Peter too wouldn’t be far behind. It was a war that has never ended. It is a different way of life. Kevin’s world is very different from mine. Everyday he has to depend on people to give him the basic necessities of life. He is fighting unbelievable odds. Paul gave Timothy no sympathy or sugar coating. It’s a war son, strive to master it.
Paul says in Phil.3, “Brethren, as for myself, as I look back upon my life and calmly draw a conclusion, I am not counting myself yet as one who has in an absolute and complete way laid hold (of that for which I have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus); but one thing, I, in fact am forgetting completely the things that are behind, and am stretching forward to the things that are in front; bearing down upon the goal, I am pursuing on for the prize of the call from above of God which is in Christ Jesus.” (Wuest)
I like that, bearing down upon the goal and pursuing the prize. Today is your Monday, and I chose to call it Merry Monday. No, not another Monday where its same-o, same-o but another day to run your race. No, you wont see me driving into McDonalds to grab a sausage biscuit, or picking up a dozen Crispy Cremes to bless my coworkers. I will think of Kevin. Paul was giving Timothy the same charge. “Take your part in suffering hardship.” Paul and other Christian workers were enduring afflictions, and so should Timothy. The exhortation was needed. Timothy was a rather timid, reluctant young fellow it seems. Maybe a late bloomer. He was not cast in the heroic mold of Paul. Paul uses the military metaphor of a soldier. “Warreth” is strateuō, “to make a military expedition, to do military duty, be on active service, to be engaged in warfare.” “Entangleth” is emplekō, “to inweave, to be involved in, to entangle.” “Affairs” is pragmateia, “the prosecution of any affair, business, occupation”; with the addition of bios, “the necessaries of life” as it is here, it means “pursuits and occupations pertaining to civil life.” (Wuest)
Translation: Take your part with others in enduring hardships as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one when engaged in military service allows himself to become involved in civilian pursuits, in order that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. This isn’t suppose to be a punishment or a set of laws.
2 Cor. 5:14 “For the love of Christ constraineth us” – “We have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, and this causes us to love God intensely, and to love and labor for the salvation of men. And it is the effect produced by this love which bears us away with itself, which causes us to love after the similitude of that love by which we are influenced; and as God so loved the world as to give his Son for it, and as Christ so loved the world as to pour out his life for it, so we, influenced by the very same love, desire to spend and be spent for the glory of God, and the salvation of immortal souls.”(Wuest)
I pray you too will see Monday in a whole new perspective. Kevin will get up and go back into physical therapy to train his one arm to lift his entire body. I too will continue to try to become a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Oh, Timothy did run his race, he too while pastoring the church at Ephesus, was beaten to death in the year 97 AD, some 30 years after Paul’s death.
“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”