Remember and Decide!
Remembrance Day has been important in my family, for a lot of reasons… Acts of remembrance help define us as a nation together. They remind us that we do not build nations or national identities apart from the sacrifice of those who paid the price, long before we were even alive.
I didn’t understand this, until I met an old, old man. He was up in years when I met him at church. He told me that he had several favorite Scriptures and loved the King James Bible. He particularly esteemed texts like this one:
But the Lord is my defence; and God is the rock of my refuge. Psalm 94:22 KJV
One day I asked him why he liked those texts in which God is pictured as a rock… And he told me this story.
He was a military commander in WW 2. He was a colonel, overseeing a large contingent of soldiers. While leading a group of soldiers to take a piece of ground from the Nazis after the Normandy invasion, the battle became fiercely intense. He and a couple of other soldiers were sheltering behind a large boulder when suddenly a live grenade landed at his feet. As soon as he saw it land, he knew he was a goner—and, although he had never lived for God before this moment, he cried out to the Lord, committing his soul into God’s hands. As the live grenade hit the ground between his feet, it immediately began to roll; it travelled a few inches and sank out of view, going down underground into a gopher hole. It rolled a few more feet and went underneath the very boulder that was affording him shelter from attack. Seconds later, the grenade exploded and lifted that boulder two feet into the air, knocking him and his comrades to the ground.
Then everyone stood up alive.
Suddenly he realized two things:
From that day forward, every time he saw a boulder, he could remember that unforgettable moment.
Years later, reflecting back on the War effort, he recalled to mind how he had been spared by the protection of a rock, saw in Scripture that God was called a rock of defence, and gave his heart over to Jesus Christ.
November 11 became “Holy Ground” something precious to him as his love for God grew.
Then every Remembrance Day he would go to a stone memorial, hear of the sacrifice of his peers and forbears; there he would remember that God was his Rock of defence and his refuge. It would become for him a time to remember, and to decide.
Remember and decide! That theme pervades the Bible from cover to cover. In fact, all through the Bible, those who loved God would set up “stones of memory,” would bring their children there, and tell them of the God who led them through trial and trouble to a place of safety.
Remember what God has done…
Decide to honor him in the way you live…
© David Chotka 2020