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COLUMN: Surprise attack

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By Jon Rohr

Many will not realize it, but today is an important day. Many will pass this day without a thought, but somehow it always sticks with me.  Though it happened before I was born, Dec. 7, 1941 is a day that lives in my memory.  
On that Sunday morning, Japanese planes flew over the U.S. Naval station at Pearl Harbor and when the fires cleared over 2,400 souls had perished and the U.S. was suddenly at war.  That war ultimately cost millions of lives around the world and did not end for four more long years.  A sudden, surprise attack followed by four years of terrible strife before peace was again declared.
Most of us do not realize it, but we frequently face similar attacks.  Bombs may not fall from the sky, but our peaceful world gets turned upside down in a moment.  One minute we are sipping a cup of coffee, the next we are dashing off to the hospital hoping the car wreck wasn’t as bad as the officer said.  One day we head off for another day of work, that evening we head home wondering where the next job will come from.  
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor ,Americans learned to fight, they learned to sacrifice, and they finally found victory.  When we are attacked, when our world turns upside down, we need to do the same things.  We need to catch our breath and get ready for battle.  Some battles are won quickly; others take years of effort and struggle.
The promise of God is this, “everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4 NIV).  There are battles to be fought, obstacles to overcome, but by faith we have the victory.
This world has its share of struggle and strife, but it is also full of baby’s smiles, the laughter of friends and families, and the magic of a sunrise and the delicate beauty of snow.  Let alone the little joys like the satisfaction of a job well done or the miracle of finding a good parking place at WalMart, As we go through life we can get so trapped in our troubles that we forget the victories.  
Remember that though we may be surprised by our troubles, God is not.  He is ready to help us, to strengthen us, and even to see us through our darkest hours.  When we place our faith in Jesus, then the victory is ours.
Remember, He has even conquered death for us!