Monday, May 28, 2012

Not my words today.  This came from Insight for Today and I wanted to pass it along.

May 28, 2012

A Memorial Day Prayer
by Charles R. Swindoll
There are certain scenes that when I come across I always pause and let the wonder in. When our children were very small and we were traveling back from a camp up in northern California, along the side of the road they saw something they didn't understand. On a windswept hillside there were literally thousands of white crosses in perfect rank and file. One of my little children said to me, "Daddy, what is that?" And it occurred to me that the younger generations can come and grow up and never even understand how they could have the freedom to drive along a highway or to sit without their home being invaded or to worship at a church we love . . . because those men and women under those crosses paid the ultimate price for our liberty. And so I took time to explain to them the significance of that hillside. I said, "All around the world there are places like that. None more beautiful than this one." And I quoted them from the British poet, "In Flanders field the poppies grow, / Between the crosses, row on row, / . . . And those birds still singing fly." And I couldn't even finish the work as I was moved to tears.
Today we honor those who are no longer among us. And we are grateful for each one and for you who have served your country and have survived them. I want you again, if you will, military veterans to please stand. (Long audience applause.) Remain standing please. You men and women have known the hardship and the responsibilities connected with serving in places that are lonely and often terribly uncomfortable. I'm confident some of you have known battle. And though others around you may never know your story, God never missed one minute of it. By His grace you made it through, having survived all those dangers. All of us today are in your debt. Thank you for saying "yes" to sacrifice. Thank you for being willing to do what you considered simply your duty, never expecting ever in your life to be applauded for it. But today we respect you and we honor you.
However, today the greater respect and honor go to those who have died in battle, in places around the world, having lived their self-forgetful lives in such a brave manner.
To the end of our lives, our Father, we will be grateful for those who have taken liberty seriously. For those who stepped away from family and home and the love of a mom and dad, a spouse and children, and stepped into the fight. Who wore the uniform proudly and to this day live grateful for the privilege of serving. We thank You for our training, for those strong-hearted men who got us into shape and prepared us for battle. Who with unswerving devotion determined that they had our good at heart and helped us understand what it means to live for others and if necessary, to die. Today we remember those who carry on the fight, whose presence would eclipse any one of ours. They are in those hard places today and they serve You in the air, on the land and at sea, and under the sea. Thank You for each one. Thank You for a country that lives in the legacy of such heroism.
Today, our Father, we acknowledge that there is evil in this world, but this world is still Yours. This is our Father's world. And You have privileged us to be born into this land, the greatest land in the world. We would fight for it and defend its liberty to our last day. We honor You, our Father, for giving us those of whom this world was not worthy. And we pray that You will encourage these who stand and many like them. May this Memorial Day be more than just a celebration of eating and relaxing with family and friends. May we on occasion come aside, pause, and reflect.
Thank You, our Father, for Your presence, Your sovereign hand, whether in war or in peace. Help us, Dear Lord, to survive these times in which we live.
Now we give You our lives and we do so with gratitude, because You have been so faithful to us. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Copyright © 2010, 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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