By Christian Jagitsch
"Ich was geborenen en Juni 9, 1933". I was born on June 9, 1933. I have heard this single line a thousand times in my life. My Grandpa often utters these words in his broken German every time my family visits. Even though he has Alzheimer's, he still remembers them from when he went to Germany a few years after the end of World War II. Whenever I hear them, it touches my heart.
My Grandpa was eight years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Somehow, through mental deterioration, he still holds onto this memory. As a young child, I always thought that was crazy. My grandpa was alive during the time of the history books. He saw the planes bombing us in the newspaper. After the war, he felt the losses of millions of people when he went to Germany to help reconstruct. He remembers what it was like to grow up amid worldwide devastation.
Today, we have our problems. In Europe, Ukraine struggles to survive while Russia struggles to conquer. In the Middle East, Israel and Palestine also have their conflicts raging. Every news headline is filled with hate, terror, worry, and politics over the ensuing struggles. It seems the whole world is focused on the survival of its own country. Everyone is wondering what is next. Will it be China and Taiwan? What is becoming of the world? What will it be like for my kids?
At times these thoughts have drifted through my mind as well. I often wonder how close we are to the brink of collapse, but I remember my grandfather's words. “I remember it very well son.” That’s when I think to myself. My grandpa remembers it. That means he survived it. You know, that means he survived Korea and ol’ ‘Nam too. If he could survive, then I can too. Hard times are not new to humanity. As long as sin has existed, devastation has existed. Yet, at the same time, as long as devastation has existed, resilience has existed. I can make it through too.
It’s not just me, though. You can too. Even if you don’t know anyone who went through World War II, you still know Jesus. He went through the Universe War. He died in the war, and yet, He’s still there. He’s still in the war, but you can hear Him say, “I remember it well son/daughter.” Wait! He remembers it. That means He survived it. He made it out the other side. Now, He’s just waiting for you. Will you stand up and walk through the flames? Will you make it to the other side?