NOTE from blog coordinator, Carol Baldwin:
This Memorial Day post originally appeared on Gail Cartee’s blog on May 28, 2017. Not only is it a beautiful tribute to Gail’s father and all servicemen and women, but it also points the reader to Christ. In doing so, Gail demonstrates what a good devotional writer does. Draw from your own life experiences, apply Scripture, and speak directly to your reader. Notice how Gail speaks to adults and children. She recently summarized our Devotional Master Class in this post.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
My dad was drafted in WWII, but was turned down without explanation. He was drafted again during the Korean Conflict and sent to Germany as part of occupation forces. Thankfully he didn’t have to give his life, but every person who enters the armed forces faces that possibility.
This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor those who have given their lives for our freedom. Freedom has never been and never will be free. I personally want to say thank you to every veteran who has served this country and to those who laid down their lives for us. It is their love for freedom and for family that compels them to make the ultimate sacrifice.
But there is another who deserves even more thanks for laying down His life for me and you. Jesus Christ came out of love for us knowing He would face death. Knowing His death would be necessary for our salvation. Through Christ Jesus, we can not only be free from the burden of sin in this life but free to live with Christ for all eternity. Not on a cloud, strumming a harp, but doing those things that most please God. Perhaps spending time in conversation, walking in the cool of a garden. Perhaps singing. Perhaps picking fruit from a tree that bears twelve different varieties.
We grumble and complain about our lives and our government, but there is no other place on earth to enjoy the freedom and comforts we have here. I have traveled outside the US to a third world country. If you’ve never been there, you cannot imagine. There will be no grumbling or complaining when we see the gifts Jesus has prepared for us through His love and sacrifice.
Thank you to all who have served and thank you to my Lord and Savior.
I dug out an old photo of my dad in uniform to share today. I remember as a child he would show us this picture and tell us a little of the things he did in service. He laid telephone lines and called artillery fire. He also taught us a little German. I thought kartoffeln was just another word for potatoes because he would just ask us to pass the kartoffeln. When I took German in high school, I learned I had actually learned bits and pieces of another language.
Take a little time this weekend to find out who has served in your family. Ask mom and dad to dig out old photos and tell a few stories of your family’s sacrifice of love. Don’t forget to say a thank you to those still living and don’t forget to thank the One who gave the greatest sacrifice of love for us.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16