Today's blog post comes to us courtesy of Apples of Gold Ministries. We appreciate the article and including Joseph's Storehouse Food Ministry in the story.
Just One More.
The other day I came in for lunch just as my husband was getting to the end of a 3-hour WWII war movie he’d been watching. As a general rule, I don’t watch them. Daddy lost his leg in WWII. Enough said. Anyway, he paused to tell me the gist of the story so that I would understand when they showed the interview of the real-life soldier, Desmond Doss, in his old age.
Doss was the first (possibly only?) conscientious objector to ever be awarded the medal of honor. He was a Christian, and carried his Bible instead of a gun, serving as a medic for his country. He gladly served in that role, but refused to take up arms to kill. My husband went on to tell how badly Doss was treated by the other men and his C.O. because he refused to carry a weapon, and because he devoted the sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) to prayer and nothing else. They all considered him a coward, and as a result he was constantly hazed and ridiculed. They wanted to ship him out on a Section 8 for mental instability or court martial him, anything to get him away from their unit. Until one day, Doss single-handedly rescued roughly 75 of his fellow men, carrying them one-by-one off the ridge. (His C.O. said it was 100 men. Doss in his humiltity said it was more like 50, so the difference was split in the official record at 75.)
At this point, my husband stopped telling the story, and I watched the interviews (from several years ago) of Doss and his former C.O. and some others who were in their late 80s/early 90s by then. The men who had picked on him and ridiculed him for his faith owed him their lives. And they all refused to go to that final battle of Okinawa without him. Even after orders from central command, the C.O. and all of the men wouldn’t start until this soldier finished praying that morning... and they won the battle.
When they asked Doss how he saved all those men, he said he would pray, “Lord, help me get just one more.” And he took one down to safety, and prayed and took another. My husband said that in the movie, it showed Doss doing the impossible, with raw hands climbing up and down on that rope, but he just kept praying for God to let him get just one more until he got them all. I’ll be honest, it brought tears to my eyes.
In the world’s view, Doss had been considered a coward, and most didn’t want to go to war alongside him. In the end, they didn’t want to go without him. His C.O. said the men themselves didn’t really have a lot of faith in God, but they had a lot of faith in Doss and his belief in his God. They had seen firsthand as he walked the walk and not just talked the talk.
Oftentimes, we look at the world around us and it can be overwhelming to see the monumental problems. Evil abounds. Unfortunately, all too often we stay within our own little comfort zone and don’t dare to venture out to try to help with the bigger problems in the world. We think, what can I do? I’m just one person. That’s a lie from the enemy! The Bible says one of us can put a thousand to flight, and two of us can send the legions fleeing. One person with God can accomplish more than thousands without Him.
I’m sure most have heard the story of the little boy on the beach throwing the starfish back into the ocean. When asked how he thought he could possibly make a difference when there were so many, the boy replied, “it made a difference to this one,” as he threw it into the water. That’s the same attitude of the soldier. Just one more.
I sit on the board of our local food ministry, Joseph’s Storehouse, which feeds 400 or so families each month. When they come to get the food, they are offered to sit in faith services as well as offered one-on-one prayer. Not all want it, which is fine, but most do. Just this week, one came back and said she didn’t want prayer this time—she wanted to praise God. She had been bound with drug and alcohol addiction and many other problems, but God has set her free. Her life is now turned around and she is heading in the right direction. Joseph’s Storehouse made a difference to that one. I know we’ve made a difference in a lot of lives through the years, but like only one of the ten lepers that received healing came back to thank Jesus, we don’t always hear the success stories. However, we keep doing what God’s called us to do knowing we are “feeding the world, one soul at a time.”
We all need to have that mentality. We need to not look at the multitude, but look at the one. Pray for God to help us reach someone. Speak an encouraging word. Offer to pray for someone’s needs. Be kind. Be compassionate. Walk in love and forgiveness with everyone at all times. We may not ever know that someone had been planning on suicide, but for our prayer, or someone planning a school shooting, but changed his/her mind because of our kindness. Someone was hopeless, but we gave them hope. While we may never know the results, nonetheless, like the soldier and the little boy with the starfish, we focus on JUST ONE MORE.
Chris Johnson, Apples of Gold Ministries