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Come What May
August 16, 2016

 Faithfulness is being faithful and dependable regardless of circumstances; come what may. It means to have credibility, being reliable and trustworthy regardless of the cost.  Humans have a powerful tendency to be faithful and loyal, to support and defend, to what they think is truly important, be it a family name, spouse, friendship, employer, school, athletic team or even certain things like a make of automobile.   Faithful implies being constant free from fickleness in affections or loyalties.  It is being staunch in a strong allegiance to one's principles or purposes as not to be turned aside by any cause; resolute stresses unwavering determination, often in adhering to one's personal ends or aims.

As followers of Jesus we must love Christ supremely, willing to give up all earthly possessions, forsake all earthly friends, and obey Him above all others—including our own carnal desires—to be faithful to Him, our attachment to Him is tenuous at best regardless of the cost.  When believers connect with God, reading his word, spending time prayer and fellowship with other believers, the Holy Spirit will be developing godly attributes and characteristics; fruit of the Spirit that increasingly reflects Jesus Christ.  Faithfulness is to act with integrity and character for the honour and glory of the kingdom.

Near the end of World War II, a plane carrying 24 members of the U.S. military, crashed into the New Guinea jungle during a sightseeing excursion.[1] The three survivors, suffering from gangrene and hunger, were stranded deep in a jungle valley notorious for its cannibalistic tribes. The army tapped a special battalion of 66 jump-qualified members of "1st Recon" led by C. Earl Walter Jr. This battalion's daring motto was Bahala na!, a phrase from the Philippines that can be translated as "Come what may." There was only one way to rescue the survivors: recruit ten volunteers, including two medics, to parachute into the dense jungle and extract the survivors.

It was a dangerous plan. Walter stood before his men as he gave the potential volunteers four warnings. First, Walter told them, the area they'd be jumping into was marked "unknown" on maps, so they'd have nothing but their wits and their compasses to guide them. Second, the jungle was so thick it would be what Walter called "the worst possible drop zone." Third, if they survived the jumps, their band of men would confront "a very good possibility that the natives would prove hostile."

But Walter saved the worst for last. No one had a plan, even a rough one, to get them out of the valley. They might have to hike some 150 miles to either the north or south coast of New Guinea, through some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth, with crash survivors who might be hurt and unable to walk on their own. Complicating matters, if they hiked north they'd go through an area "known to be the domain of headhunters and cannibals." If they hiked south, they'd pass through jungles and swamps occupied by perhaps ten thousand Japanese troops. Death seemed a strong possibility either way.

When Walter finished his litany of warnings, he waited a beat, then asked for volunteers. Every member of the parachute unit raised his hand. Then each one took a step forward, as several of the men yelled Bahala na. "Come what may."

Where have you lacked faithfulness?  When have you stepped forward in an act of faithfulness with a shout “Bahala na!”?  What are some of the ways in which you can grow greater dependability and credibility, come what may?


[1] Adapted from Mitchell Zuckoff, Lost in Shangri-La (Harper Perennial, 2012), pp. 213-216


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