31 December 2022
Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
I was not raised in a Christian home, but I remember we had a large white picture Bible decorating the coffee table. I was thumbing through it one day and ran across a picture of Jesus sitting beside a large rock. I don’t know why, but that picture would stick in my mind for the rest of my life. Fast forward to the early 1990s. My nephew Allen was killed in the first Persian Gulf War called, Desert Storm. A monument was dedicated in his memory a couple years latter at Rock of the Marne Park in Wurtzburg, German. Wurtzburg was were the Brigade Headquarters for my nephew was located. I was not able to attend the dedication ceremony, but I was able to go and see his monument a couple years later while on a business trip to Germany. I won’t go into all the details, but I met up with a couple friends of mine in Munich, and they drove me to Wurtzburg the following weekend to see the monument. I don’t know why, but I became a mental wreck when we approached the army base. After all, I attended my nephew’s funeral a couple years prior, and I thought I was over it. I had to get my friend Beverly to go into the base flower shop to get an arrangement of flowers to place beside the monument. I remember that upon entering Rock of the Martin Park, that there were many large and ornate statue monuments that had been erected for other fallen soldiers from the past campaigns that Allen’s unit had been involved in. When I finally found my nephew’s monument, I was not impressed. It was just a small rock with his name on it, and I immediately thought that this was the effect of government budget cuts. I stayed there for a little while, placed the flowers and took a few pictures to show to people back home. I hung out with my friends the rest of the day and spent the night at their apartment. When I left Sunday morning to return to my hotel in Ramstien, I was still a mental wreck. When darkness fell and the traffic had thinned, I began to think about my nephew, and that monument which had not impressed me. I had to go to work the next day, so I knew I had to work through these things that were on my mind that were causing me so much anguish. I started asking myself a series of questions like; why was his monument so small and unimpressive? Did he not deserve better than that? I then started thinking about all my nephews wonderful attributes. He was courageous, he was gentle, he was dependable, he was loving, he was giving, he was compassionate. And then the thought occurred to me that how appropriate, like that monument, Allen was a rock. I asked one final question. I asked; is Alan trying to help me find God? It was at that point, just as I was passing Mannheim, that bells and whistles started going off, and it was as though I could hear Charlie, the announcer on the Price Is Right TV game show say, Ethan Moses, come on down you’re the next contestant on the Price Is Right. That is when I asked the real Rock to forgive my sins and come into my heart. I remember after arriving at my hotel that night, I called my friends Beverly and Lenord and I said to Beverly, Beverly, I just met Jesus and Jesus is a “Expletive” rock! That was almost 40 years ago and Jesus still lives in my heart, and during all this time I have carried around in my pocket a small rock that reminds me of that glorious event. It was not a coincidence that I went and saw my nephew’s monument that day, and it’s no coincidence that after so many years, contact has been reestablish with our dear friends Beverly and Lenord. Just like that picture I saw as a child, of Jesus leaning on that rock, I have found over the years that I am able to take all my cares and concerns to Jesus, and lean on him. At one time I thought I was a rock, but I soon learned, after a series of trials and setbacks, that I’m no rock, I’m more like a Gummy Bear, and that Jesus is the true Rock. He is the Rock of my salvation! Praise the holy name of Jesus!
Jesus Is A Rock
The Lord is my rock,
My fortress and my deliverer.
He loves me for who I am.
He is my healer and my forgiverer.
My God is my rock,
No one else is so huge.
He blocks the floods of darkest waters,
In Him I can take refuge.
He is my shield,
The horn of my salvation.
Serving him provides blissful peace,
He fills my soul with elation.
The Lord is my stronghold.
He helps me overcome life’s hard knocks.
When I need a friend to lean on,
I call out to Jesus, Jesus is a Rock!
Ethan W. Moses