Sometimes a thought or a song invades my thinking and not leave me alone until I finally sit down and talk, write, investigate, or Google it to my satisfaction. One Sunday morning not long ago I woke to the sound of my alarm and it was so loud that for a moment I thought it was my burglar alarm! I don’t know why it was so loud but it woke me from a deep sleep cycle and I stumbled down the stairs to make a strong enough coffee brew to help me finish putting together things for our Sunday lunch. After the coffee began to pour into the carafe I took the roast out of the fridge and started the process of seasoning and browning it to go into my silver and black crock-pot, color mentioned because I have two of these wonderful cooking devices and I was putting the vegetables I had pressured last night to make soup in the other one, which is blue. So, as I was listening to the coffee drip and the roast as it began to sizzle I realized I was singing a song that I didn’t know all the lyrics for so I was humming the rest. I have never to my knowledge sung the song and really don’t know where I heard it unless it was in an old movie. I will hold you in suspense no longer (I realized you were holding your breath), It was “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile…” I love to watch the old spy/war movies, the ones you can find on TMC now, and it could be I heard it in one of those. All day off and on I would sing that much of the little song until I finally looked it up! I was right when I guessed it was something from World War 1 written in 1915, but what I didn’t know is that it was written for the British soldiers as a marching song! There was a contest for the best marching song and two brothers George Henry and Felix Powell, pulled this song out of a pile of their rejects, changed the music and lyrics a little and won! And in case you wonder what the “kit bag” is I did look it up, the “kit bag” was the British soldiers duffle bag!
So what did all that have to do with me on that particular Sunday? Fast forward to that evening when I sat down and opened my email; I had one from a friend that was a link to an old video made in Honolulu, Hawaii. He had sent one this week from 135 years ago that was made in San Francisco that captured my attention so I couldn’t wait to see what this one was, it was a color 16mm film of men, women, soldiers all celebrating VJ Day August 14, 1945! The excitement and happiness, the leaping into the air and laughter of those young people made the tears in my own eyes start running down my face uncontrollably. This was where it had all begun on December 7, 1941 and now it was over and they could return to their families. I started putting the two together, the song and the film of celebration was about Wars. The verse goes on to say “What’s the use of worrying? It never was worthwhile, so pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile. “
Luke 21: 25-28 “It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking. “And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”
I don’t have to tell you that the news is terrible, wars, rumors of war, men in Washington who can make decisions to send our families to wars in another land and for what reason? Dishonest, lying politicians running for office it is enough to make me want to be an ostrich, hide my head in the sand and, as I pointed out recently, watch old I Love Lucy re-runs I really can’t take it anymore.
The only thing that gives me hope is to know the scripture, which gives me reason to believe that Jesus could come back for us any old time now because there is nothing left to be fulfilled before he can make His entrance! That makes me want to sing a chorus of “We Shall Behold Him”. We know that we are commanded to “occupy” until He comes again so we keep working and trying to help everyone we can to find the way! If you need peace now try reading this, 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all our care on Him for He cares for you.”
For tonight let’s take the advice offered by the Powell brothers and sing “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile” while we joyfully celebrate the end of our personal struggles because we are leaving them at the cross!
Are you smiling yet?