During World War II there were many common household goods that were rationed by the government. You couldn’t just walk into a store and buy as much sugar, meat, or butter as you wanted. All of these items were rationed, which meant you were only allowed to buy a small amount (even if you could afford to buy more.) There were many things our nation found itself in short supply of and the rations were necessary to make sure that everyone got their fair share.
In 1942 our economy shifted to war production very quickly which made all of our citizens feel the impact of the war in many ways. Consumer goods took a back seat to military production and nation-wide rationing began almost immediately. Some of the non-food items that were collected were steel, aluminum, rubber, copper, brass, zinc, and tin. The U.S. War Production Board issued a statement that claimed, “Even one shovel will help make four hand grenades.” Every citizen was involved in helping and contributing to the war.
I was talking to my dad a few days ago and he was telling me about the things he remembered from the war. He was only eight or nine years old, but he remembers the commercials that were on between shows. A man would come on and remind all the children to take their wagons out and gather up as much rubber and aluminum as they could find and turn it in. The commercial would say, “Your kind gesture will help our soldiers in foreign lands.”
Because of the united effort, the phrase “There’s a war on, you know” became very popular. Imagine a person eating breakfast at a restaurant in 1942. They may use sugar in their coffee and on their toast. If a patron saw this they would likely say, “There’s a war on, you know!” If you were overindulging in the rationed items then you weren’t helping in the war effort. It was inexcusable to act like there wasn’t a world food shortage. No matter who you were.
You and I can take this phrase and use it today as we all do our very best to serve God. Imagine hearing a brother or sister telling you they won’t be at services because the final episode of their favorite show is on. “There is a war on, you know.” Or maybe you know a member who believes there is nothing wrong with having a few drinks with their co-workers. “There is a war on, you know.”
I Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We are at war. How can any of us afford to play with something we know God doesn’t approve of? What makes us think that we’ll be okay if we separate ourselves from the flock? We are sheep (John 10:14) and the devil is the lion. What chance does a sheep have when it is separated from its shepherd? There is a spiritual war that is raging now! We are outnumbered and the odds are stacked against us. This is no time to take our commitment as Christians lightly. There’s a war on, you know.
As I studied the rationing on the U.S. home front during World War II, I was amazed at some of the ways people sacrificed for the sake of the war. For example, by the end of 1942, half of U.S. automobiles issued an ―A‖ sticker which allowed four gallons of fuel per week. The “A” sticker was issued to those whose car was non-essential. For one full year “A” stickered cars were not to be driven for pleasure at all. This type of ration would be impossible to bear these days. The war affected everyone.
The great spiritual battle that we are in affects everyone as well. The big difference is that most people have chosen to ignore it. Ignoring it does not change the inevitable outcome. II Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done whether good or bad.”
I pray that we have made the proper adjustments in our lives and in our attitudes so that we can fight this spiritual battle. Not just hanging in there, but striving to crush the adversary. We must be willing to guard and defend our eternal soul. No matter what the sacrifice. I would encourage you to read Ephesians 6:10-17, stand strong, and cling to the good shepherd who has given Himself so that we might live. May God bless you in your efforts to be victorious (I John 5: 3-5).