Our Memorial Day
May 2006
Key Topics: Freedom, Sacrifice, Service, The Cross, God's Love, Relationships, Adversity, Triumph

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honour, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" - David Livingstone


Hi Friends:

It became clear to me fairly early in life that "storms" would come along the way that would temporarily knock you flat off your feet. Some of these experiences were self-inflicted by my own poor or careless choices . . . like the day I became too aggressive on my tricycle and caught a rear wheel in a sprinkler hole next to a sidewalk while negotiating a high speed turn. The result? A very painful broken collar-bone.

Then there are painful experiences that are the result of the choices of others . . . like the day the renowned 5th grade school bully decked me in the hallway during recess with little warning. In either case, we suddenly find ourselves weak, vulnerable and in need of a protector, a defender . . . a rescuer.

Suddenly Quite Vulnerable

I was vividly reminded of this just again this week as I was out for a walk in a neighborhood interlaced with a beautiful golf course. At the beginning of the walk, skies were somewhat cloudy, but the air was still and sweet with the fragrance of spring. Within minutes, a strong wind came up and I became the target of a fierce thunderstorm, including hail that was painful . . . and drenching rain that flooded the streets and soaked me to the bone.

I found myself suddenly quite vulnerable to nature's fury . . . and the thought occurred that nearby lightning strikes had pushed me well beyond my comfort zone. To add insult to injury, a number of SUV's drove through the subdivision with my sopping mess of a condition in clear view . . . only to whiz by at full speed.

Instead of stopping to offer transport to safety, the driver's instead seemingly targeted the deepest flooded areas of the street . . . spraying water as high in the air as possible. Perhaps their thought was . . . "He got himself in that mess by his own choosing, let him deal with the results and figure out a way to safety on his own."

A Line of Defense

Memorial Day is such a great time to remember that countless thousands of brave men and women have taken selfless action on our behalf when we as a nation were knocked down and vulnerable. It didn't matter whether it was a result of our own nation's careless choices . . . or those of a sinister enemy.

Our troops became our protectors, our defenders . . . and gave their very lives . . . so we as a country could stand on our feet in freedom once again. I am grateful for the unbelievable amount of sacrifice that makes America what it is today.

With even deeper gratitude, I marvel at the way Christ comes to us when we are caught in the storms of life . . . when sin and selfishness, greed and pride, or even just plain ole hatred or carelessness have knocked us down. He comes to rescue us from certain death. He even comes when we are the complete and only cause of our downfall and have made ourselves His enemy . . .

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

There indeed was a day when a storm like none before or since blew into Jerusalem that brought fear into the hearts of every man . . . and in the midst of the darkness, Christ hung on a cross. With arms stretched wide . . . heaven embraced our maximum vulnerability . . . and promised to never let go.

We are no longer alone and helpless. The Rescuer who took death on the chin for us lives today . . . and is still with us . . . right in the middle of the darkest trials. By His grace, we can also resist the urge to come up with excuses as to why He does not need us to stand in the gap for others . . . in their storm . . . before looking out for ourselves.

When you and I say yes to being a conduit to His love, mercy and protection . . . that is when we become fully alive . . . that indeed becomes . . .

. . . our Memorial Day.



"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

Artist's Corner

"The New Doxology" by Gateway Worship:

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Let earth and heavenly saints proclaim
The power and might of His great Name
Let us exalt on bended knee
Praise God, the Holy Trinity

Praise God, praise God, praise God, Who saved my soul
Praise God, praise God, praise God from Whom all blessings flow

Praise to the King, His throne transcends
His crown and Kingdom never end
Now and throughout eternity
I'll praise the One Who died for me



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