The invasion of France, which eventually brought the end of WWII, actually began the night before the Allies stormed the beaches on Normandy, when the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were dropped in behind enemy lines to cut off Hitler’s reinforcements.
The paratroopers faced tremendous dangers. Alone, or in small groups, they moved through the cover of night across a country they were unfamiliar with, and an enemy they could not see. It was a demonstration of awesome courage, but cowardice as well. All jumped, but some hid, and one group did the unthinkable.
“Too many had hunkered down in hedgerows to await the dawn; a few had even gone to sleep. Pvt. Francis Palys, of the 506th, saw what was perhaps the worst dereliction of duty. He had gathered a squad near Vierville. Hearing ‘all kinds of noise and singing in a distance,’ he and his men sneaked up on a farmhouse. In it was a mixed group of both American divisions. The paratroopers had found [liquor] in the cellar…and they were drunker than a bunch of hillbillies on a Saturday night wingding. Unbelievable. (D-Day).”
These men knew they were at war, yet they refused to act like it, not only endangering themselves, but their comrades, who counted on them, as well. John Eldridge said, “It is a perfect picture of the church in the West when it comes to spiritual warfare.”
We are told to be “a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” as we are “engaged in warfare” (2 Timothy 2:3, 4).
The Romans used to say, 'Si vis pacem para bellum'. 'If you wish peace, prepare for war'.
“By all hell’s host withstood,
We all hell’s host o’erthrow;
And conquering them through Jesus’ blood,
We still to conquer go.”
Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center