July 2, 2010

Looking Back

It was late November in 1950, and the 5th and 7th regiments of the 1st Marine Division were fighting both the People’s Army of North Korea and temperatures reaching 30 degrees below zero. When they approached North Korea’s border with China at the Chosin Reservoir, three Chinese Communist divisions attacked and overwhelmed the regiments. General Mac Arthur, Commander and Chief of the UN Forces, had no alternative. He ordered the Marines to withdraw. Marine General, O.P. Smith insisted it wasn’t a retreat. “It was an attack in another direction.”

During the withdrawal, an unknown Marine riding in a truck carrying men given up for dead, happened to look back through the rear window, and he saw someone move. It was a young Marine from Penn Yan, NY, and because someone realized he was alive, Jack Albertson survived the war, returned home and eventually married Millie, his childhood sweetheart.

Jack and Millie raised four daughters and a son, Scott , who married our daughter, Tammy, in 1981. Last month, Scott and Tammy’s daughter, Lindsey, married Alex Bailey, and Jack and Millie were there to celebrate. When they look back on their lives together, the wedding is just one af many blessings for which they can give thanks to their Lord and a Marine whose name they will never know.

I think it’s true that when most of us look back on our lives, we tend to dwell on the negative events we would like to change. We think to ourselves, “If only I had known,” or “if only I had done something different.” Today, I invite you to look back and recall all the blessings that have filled your life. When you do, I suspect you will find that the Lord has been gracious and good to you as he was to Jack and Millie. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you.