Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of Europe. The great author Vornelius Ryan wrote a book in about 1960 which I read as a kid called “The Longest Day.” It chronicled the invasion of Fortress Europa. Nazi Germany had thrust the world into the abyss under Hitler. Millions had died and the world was truly on the brink of a new dark age.
To win the war and end the blight, American and British troops with others would have to secure the French coast at Normandy and the five beaches code named Omaha, Utah, Sword, Juno and Gold. Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, was in charge of defenses. The invasion was coordinated by Dwight Eisenhower and his Brish and American staff. Security, weather, German defenses posed many risks.
The much postponed invasion took place on June 6. Ryan in his book called it "The Longest Day." Indeed it was. The fate of millions was in the balance. President Roosevelt himself led prayers for "our boys, pride of our nation." Ultimately, at great cost, the invasion was successful. Normandy was secured and the foothold in Europe was secured.
Less than a year later, the War in Europe was won. There are so many books, courses, studies on these momentous events. Ryan's book was made into an epic movie. But there are many historic implications in this great story that have spiritual ramifications in our lives as well.
For example, Hitler and the Nazis were evil incarnate. They dealt in many ways with the occult. They had killed millions of Jews in the Holocaust. God's chosen people. Today we can see that there are those at satan's bidding do much the same and we are reminded that as Peter said, that the devil prowls like an angry lion seeking to destroy and devour. That is why we as a free nation and as individuals need to remain strong and discerning.
But we can also see that without the shedding of blood, Europe and millions would never have been set free. The Longest Day was critical as the fate of millions was in the balance. On a greater scale there was another "'Longest Day" it was on a black Friday that we know now as Good Friday when the fate of all people for all time as Jesus went to the Cross to secure our salvation and freedom and forgiveness and set us free. Yes, it took His shedding of His precious blood to gain that victory that can bring us the abundant life. It is a life He gives us to keep and hold on to.
But there is one more parallel I want to share. General Norman Cota during the almost failed invasion of Omsha Beach went to the beach personally and talked with his mauled and pinned down men. He told them that there were only two kinds of men still on the beach, those who were dead and those who would be. He urged them ahead and their grit and decision proved to be critical
We are faced with that same critical choice. We can stay stuck and let the world, the flesh and the devil pound away st us and destroy our happiness, our peace and our future and we can even get so bogged down we never ever really make a decision to serve Jesus or we can make that decision to move forward with Him. The choice is ours. It's a choice everyone has to make and there is o ly one choice to happiness and salvation
Today, we remember the invasion. Seventy-five years ago. Evil did not win. And in Christ it never needs to.
We have not a general to save us but we have The King of Kings. I hope you have made your choice for Him and you live for Him
In Him is life and freedom.
I want to deal with a couple of personal things that I get asked about. First of all, my mother Gladys, who will soon be 101 is doing great. She has adjusted to my dad's passing and continues to watch Cardinal games every day and eat well and stay up on the news.
On another note, I am thrilled to tell you that I am very grateful to the Lord that my life has really taken a wonderful turn in that Jennifer Meyer has become that very special person in my life. I love her very much. We had some tough times to deal with earlier as we were not able to spend much quality time together due to the intense caretaker situation I was in, but she hung in there with me and by that and God's grace, we are getting that time together now. Wonderful.
We men can be pretty thick sometimes. But I am blessed big time to have this wonderful woman in my life. I could never have a better one. She was so good to my dad in particular as things waned with him. No one could have done more. She has been helpful with my mom as well.
We enjoy each other totally as many of you know. I love playing golf especially with her. I feel God has a special plan for us and I can really understand what my favorite President said about his wife Nancy when he said Nancy came along and saved his life, speaking of Ronald Reagan.That is how I feel about Jennifer.
Jennifer has been that way for me. I can count on her big time. Her work ethic, her laugh and smile and innate goodness is remarkable. I treasure her and am praying that we will be together for years. She is a blessing.