Keep Going, Keep Fighting!

30 09 2018

I’ve been honored to know many men and women had have not only taught me truths Rock _nfrom God’s Word, but have challenged me to lead a life dedicated to serving our Lord, now and until my days on earth are finished. One individual in particular challenged me greatly, not so much in what he had to say, but how he lived his life.

Andrew served in the Marines during WW2 and while on board a ship he attended a church service one evening along with many of his fellow Marines, knowing the next day they would face a fierce battle. Hearing the message that the Chaplin gave, and with the nudging of the Holy Spirit on his heart, he gave his life to Christ. “God,” he prayed, “I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, but if I’m still alive I promise to serve you every day.”

The next morning, he and thousands of other soldiers loaded onto landing boats where they stormed onto shore under heavy artillery fire. Andrew ran as fast as he could hoping to find anything to shelter him from the bombardment. Slowly he made his way off the beach and up to the hills were the enemy was dug in. A marine up ahead of him was shot and he ran over to help him. Dragging his wounded comrade-in-arms to a place that gave them some safety, he checked to see what he could do to help him. This fighter was in tears from the pain brought on from the bullet entering his body. But he looked up at Andrew and said, “Don’t worry about me! “Keep going! Keeping fighting! You’re needed!” Torn with anguish at leaving his man behind, he picked up his rifle and returned to the battle. For over two weeks Andrew would fight for all he was worth sometimes rotated back to rest, but then returning to the frontlines. Then. Finally. The battle was over and he and the rest of the warriors could finally relax.

Andrew made efforts to find out what happened to the wounded man, but without knowing his name it was impossible. The casualties were in the tens of thousands; there was no way to know if he lived or died. But Andrew never forgot the marine’s words; “Keep going! Keeping fighting! You’re needed!” He would remember those precious words all the days of his life.

Returning to the states, Andrew attended Bible college and then seminary. Upon graduation he returned to Asia where he experienced horrors of war, as a missionary. He stayed there for nearly 40 years sharing his faith with countless thousands and leading many to Christ.

When the time came, he returned to the U.S., bought a little home and took up gardening. He had learned much on raising flowers and vegetables and his plants were the envy of the neighborhood. One neighbor in particular asked if he would teach them how to grow such beautiful vegetation. Soon he was instructing others on his techniques. With every person he tutored in gardening, he shared the gospel of Christ, leading many to the Lord. Even though he was retired he knew his mission wasn’t over. “Keep going! Keeping fighting!”

As Andrew aged and grew feeble, he had to be placed in a nursing facility. He was no longer able to use his arms and legs, but he could still talk. Befriending a nursing assistant who cared for him, he told her often of God’s love for her. One evening, at the end of her shift, she returned to his room where they talked for several hours; that night she came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The next day she brought a friend to Andrew and told how she desperately need to hear his words. The young lady left his room also a new creature in Christ. Then one day the first girl came to him in tears. Her husband was living a terrible life that was destroying both of them. “If he would only come and talk to you I know he’d change, but he won’t.” Andrew told her, “Don’t give up! Keep going! Keeping fighting!” The two of them met everyday to pray for her husband. Weeks passed before the young friend came into his room, beaming a broad smile, and leading her husband by the hand to Andrew’s bedside. It would be nice to tell you he gave over to Jesus, but he just couldn’t. Andrew passed away several days later. The fight and mission were over for this “Traveler of the Rock Road.” Or was it?

Many attended his funeral service including the gal and her husband. Good old Andrew might have been gone, but he wasn’t done telling of his Lord and Savior. The pastor told much of Andrew’s life and how much he loved Jesus and wanted others to do so also. Of course, he had the verse most known at his service, but he wanted them to hear it again, perhaps listening for the first time.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

When the pastor gave the invitation for anyone to accept Jesus, the husband was first to respond.

“Keep going! Keeping fighting!”

I suppose there are several ways I could end this week’s writing, but I think I’ll end it with this thought of what I believe Andrew heard the moment he was in the presence of the One he served so faithfully.

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Another way to put it; “You didn’t quit going. You didn’t quit fighting. You’re Home now Soldier!”

See ya next time.

 

 


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