Days after the tragedy of 9/11 struck our nation's soul, members of the special forces known as Green Berets were asked to pack their bags, leave their families and head straight into the heart of warfare. While each of us back home struggled to come to grips with the devastation that came about so suddenly, these men set out to do something about it.
They flew to Afghanistan with one goal in mind: stop the enemy before the enemy could make another attack on innocent lives.
The special forces knew that if they could get to the root of the attack in a limited amount of time, they could win the immediate war of protecting citizens on America's soil. They could protect individuals, families, churches and communities, but only by letting go of what they once knew concerning conventional warfare and embracing a strategy that would work.
One man, Mark Nutsch, was chosen to lead the 12 men into battle. "Their story, "12 Strong," was made into a movie and is now playing in theaters around the country.
Despite having no combat experience, Mark's confidence and ability to think outside of normative approaches during the vetting process won him the assignment. Little did the military leaders know at the time of choosing him that his experience growing up on his family's ranch, working as a ranch hand in college and riding horses in rodeos would be some of his greatest assets.
After all, this wasn't a war fought with militaries lined up and facing each other on opposite sides. Nor was it even a war fought in the trenches. Rather, to excel in this war, combatants would need to battle the elements, ride horses over rough and dangerous terrain, and outwit opponents who knew the landscape like the back of their own hands.
To win this battle, Mark and his team of 11 other brave men would have to fight according to the rules of the enemy.
Their campaign was supposed to take six weeks, but due to weather, they sought to complete it in three. It was supposed to take multiple teams of Green Berets, but due to the elements, topography and lack of entrance points, they were given only one team of 12 men. It was supposed to rack up a high level of casualties on the American side due to the risks involved; they walked away with none.
Because these men chose to adapt to the environment and allies surrounding them and work within the strategies at hand, they accomplished what few, if any, thought they could. On horseback, they battled tanks and troops armed with missiles.
Maybe it was Mark's lack of previous combat experience that opened him up to adapting his strategy to the battle at hand more so than someone else possibly could have. We'll never know for sure. But one thing we do know is that it was his willingness to set aside logic, convention and what had been recorded over time on paper that allowed him to approach this battle in a way unlike any other that had been fought in the history of our nation.
It also allowed him to lead his team of 12 into the quickest, most decisive victory in the history of our nation.
Two thousand years ago, another team of 12 followed another unconventional leader. He didn't ride a horse; He rode a donkey. It didn't take Him three weeks; it took Him three days. He didn't fight for a nation; He fought for a kingdom.
In doing so, He secured for each of us the victory which is ours to claim.
Yet only as we are willing to follow Him by laying down our own logic, our own perspective, our own approach and our own understanding of how to fight this war will we discover the fullness and effects of that victory in every area of our lives.
It is in following Christ as our captain that we can win in our personal lives, families, churches and communities. It is in following Him that we discover the path to our own comeback. Satan may have struck a terrible blow, but Jesus will have the final say. Trust Him in the process.
Dr. Tony Evans is the author of "Your Comeback: Your Past Doesn't Have to Determine Your Future," coming in May from Harvest House.