Scrolling through the channels, it’s mostly war movies on today. Celebrating and memorializing those lives lost in Americas’ battles. Hanging on my office wall is a calendar that our very own Bud Davis gave me. It is a Submarine medal of honor calendar. Bud served in World War II in a submarine. He even boarded a Nazi U-boat. That Sounds like a movie! The calendar is a commemoration of the 52 boats lost during the war. If you read the caption you would be able to grasp the questions and uncertainty that the family members must have felt. “The Grayling was not heard from after August 19th, 1943”. No other details were known. Prisoners of War? . . a slow death at the bottom of the sea? a quick explosion from a Japanese destroyers’ mine? The families’ will never know. The Submariners suffered the highest fatality rate of any military group. One in four died. Not very good odds. . . But brave men kept signing up! When I was a Pearl Harbor a few years ago I visited the submarine memorial. Very impressive. We honored our WW II service men a few years back In Church. It was interesting because we had Diane Holomboe’s father who was a part of our church before his death. He was a German Soldier at age 17 or 18 when the war ended. He worked for the American occupation driving trucks and immigrated with his young wife to Canada a few years later. In talking to him I could see how tough war was from the perspective of the civilians in those war torn areas. (Both his parents were killed). War is a terrible thing. I heard an interview this morning of a young 18 year old Jewish American, Bud Ferman, who landed at D-day and fought in the battle of the Bulge that winter of 1944-45. His stories of the devastation he saw, the smell of death, and the carnage of war was burned forever into his mind. He said that many of his buddies decided then and there, that the remainder of their lives would be filled with helping people and bringing about peace. School teachers, medicine, and his choice, the ministry.
War changes people as does most hardship and difficulty. You either come out of the furnace and the refiners fire where the dross comes to the surface and pure intention of the creator stands out, or you let something else happen. That is a truly a life lesson whether it is war, sickness, bad relationships, difficult financial times, broken relationships, shattered dreams, or any other in a long list of heartaches and disappointment. Consider it all joy my brothers when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. James 1: 2-3