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Lessons from Molly Pitcher
by Darrell Woodard

On June 28 1778, Mary Hays McCauly watched as her husband John Hays marched into the battle of Monmouth to help secure America's freedom. While the other wives hurried to safety, Mary lingered as she heard cries from the battlefield. With the temperature over 100 degrees, Mary saw soldiers falling from dehydration. Abandoning all fear, she ran to a nearby stream, filled a pitcher with water, and began making trip after trip into the heat of battle. Her continued efforts earned her the affectionate nickname, “Moll of the pitcher” or Molly Pitcher.

After making many runs, she was on another run when she saw her husband slumped over his cannon. Rushing to his side, she found him unconscious from exhaustion and dehydration. Then to the amazement of all who were nearby she took the rammer staff from her fallen husband's hands and hollered “Load!” Mary served as the regiment's cannoneer for the rest of the battle.

We as Christians can learn many things from this story.

First of all we are in a fight and we are to take on this fight. We cannot push it to the side or ignore it. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 tells us that we are to fight the good fight of faith and in doing so to lay hold on eternal life. 1 Tim 6:11-12 NKJV (11) But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In order to fight we must prepare ourselves properly. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul shows us the uniform and tools we have and how we are to prepare for battle:

Eph 6:10-20 NKJV – Get your armor and be ready (10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (13) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (18) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—(19) and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, (20) for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We are surrounded by the truth and know that we have God on our side. The girdle of truth is designed to keep every part of the armor in its place, and to gird the soldier on every side. Our righteousness is our integrity, holiness, or purity of life. The breast-plate defended the vital parts of the body; and the idea here is that the integrity of life, and righteousness of character, is as necessary to defend us from the assaults of Satan, as the coat of mail was to preserve the heart from the arrows of an enemy.

Our feet are shod - a readiness to walk in the gospel; ever ready to go forth to preach the gospel. The Gospel is the Gospel of Peace because it establishes peace between God and man, and proclaims peace and good will to all men.

Our shield of faith protects all, and is indispensable to the security of all. Spiritual blows and arrows are parried off, and the whole body defended. It can be used to protect the head, or the heart, or thrown behind to meet all attack there. As long as the soldier had his shield, he felt secure; and as long as a Christian has faith, he is safe.

Our helmet of salvation protects us from everything and anything. That is, “of the hope of salvation;” as it is called in I Thess 5:8. The idea is, that a well-founded hope of salvation will preserve us in the day of spiritual conflict, and will guard us from the blows which an enemy would strike. The helmet defended the head, a vital part; and so the hope of salvation will defend the soul. A soldier would not fight well without a hope of victory. A Christian could not contend with his foes, without the hope of final salvation; but, sustained by this, what has he to fear?

The sword of the spirit is our only offensive weapon. It is all we need as it is the inspired Word of God which the Holy Spirit furnishes; the truth which he has revealed.

With all of these at our disposal we are ready to fight and win the battle.

Secondly we can learn that it doesn't matter who you are or what your station in life is you can join in the war and fight. Nobody thought Molly Pitcher could do what she did much less expected it and yet she did it.

Timothy is a young man whom many may scoff at but Paul tells Timothy in 1Tim 4:12 to be an example to all: 1 Tim. 4:12 NKJV (12) Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

James tells us in James 1:27 that we all can practice pure and undefiled religion. He tells us to visit orphans and widows in their trouble. Any and all of us can do that! He also says that we can simply keep ourselves unspotted from the world. What a simple and wonderful command. This one thing can help us and many others as we are an example just like Timothy was! Jas 1:27 NKJV (27) Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Paul says in 1 Cor 10:33 that he seeks what is best for others. We can and should follow his example! 1 Cor 10:33 NKJV (33) just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

In Galatians Paul tells us to bear one another's burdens. Gal 6:1-2 NKJV (1) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. (2) Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

If you look at II Peter 1:5-8 you will see various characteristics of a Christian life. You will also notice that each one builds on the other. Each one also will have output into your life so that you can and will have influence on others. No matter what stage of the Christian life you are in then you can stand up and be counted as a soldier in the war with Satan. 2 Pet. 1:5-8 NKJV (5) But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, (6) to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, (7) to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. (8) For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And as you grow and abound as a Christian you will win battles and be fruitful in this life for Christ!

All of these verses show us that each of us can be different, we can do things that are different and even things we had never considered or thought possible. Do something in the world and in your church for Christ. “Think outside the box” as they say. Be courageous! Stand up and do something on the spiritual battlefield for Christ that you have not done before!

In response to her heroics, General George Washington himself issued Molly Pitcher a warrant as a non-commissioned officer. And in 1822, Mary was awarded an honor unprecedented to a female in that era, a military pension for her combat service during the revolutionary war.

Just as Molly Pitcher received her reward for her duty in the time of war we too will receive our reward.

I Peter 1:9 calls it the “end of your faith- the salvation of your soul”! 1 Pet. 1:9 NKJV (9) receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Revelation 2:10 calls it “the Crown of life”! Rev 2:10 NKJV <> (10) Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

God has given you everything you need. Be ready. Be active on the battlefield. THEN receive your reward!

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