“Memorial Day- Remembering the Price that was Paid”

By Pastor Ron Buxton

The story that I’m about to relate is true. However, the actual details are somewhat uncertain. Either more than one story, with similar results occurred, or the same event — but through the course of retelling it– have changed those details. That being said, it does not alter its significance in my article today.

       About a century ago, the first World War raged on in Europe. Two childhood friends, that were virtually inseparable, both enlisted in the U.S. Army at that time. And fortunately for them, they were allowed to stay together throughout boot camp and their eventual deployment on the battlefield. Remember, this was World War One where most of the fighting took place in the trenches that stretched across the European countrysides.

       One day, the company from which these two friends belonged to attempted to charge out of their trenches to confront the enemy in the middle ground known as “no man’s land.” It was that barren, barbed-wired terrain that separated the opposing armies. Needless to say, their efforts were futile. They had to immediately retreat back to the trenches as overwhelming machine-gun fire stopped their efforts. Unfortunately, one of those friends didn’t make it back to the safety of the trenches. This left the other friend in uncontrollable shock, so he asked permission of his commander to venture back out onto the battlefield to try to save his friend. Permission was denied. The commander told him that he was foolish to even think that his friend could have survived such a ferocious surprise attack by the machine gunner.

       And so, against a direct order to stay in the trench, this man quickly jumped out of the trench in a frantic attempt to locate–and hopefully rescue–his childhood buddy. And surprisingly, moments later, he dragged that same friend back into the trench…but dead from multiple gun shot wounds. His commanding officer barked at him: “I told you that it was a foolish thing to do! You could have gotten yourself killed!”

       “You don’t understand”, replied the soldier, “We were best friends all through our childhood. With all due respect, sir, it was not in vain. It was not a waste. When I got to my friend, he was still alive, and as he breathed his last, he looked me in the eyes and told me: I knew that you would come!’”

     Folks, we will always be indebted to those who sacrificed their very lives that we might enjoy this great nation in which we live today. It is to those who didn’t “make it back to the safety of the trenches” that we salute on Memorial Day. As the saying goes–”All gave some, but some gave all.” And so, we honor those who gave all.

       That being said, I want to “turn the corner” in this article. You see, we might never have the same experience of that surviving soldier of World War One. But Someone greater—in both time and space significance—has come to pull us off the “battlefields” of consequences far more dire than that horrible first World War. The Bible refers to that Someone as a “friend that sticks closer than a brother.” More than anything else, He wants to “look you in the eye”, and for you to know that He “came for you”. Please don’t ignore His efforts, nor deny the “battlefield” consequences that you find yourself in. Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost”. Let Him take you out of the “no man’s land” of your brokenness, and bring you into restoration and fullness—the life that He designed for you to live.


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