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Remembering D-Day
The Greatest Battles Reveal the Greatest Gifts

By Ronald Gallagher

Church message imageMany of us watched some of the events commemorating the 75th anniversary of DDay in Normandy last week. There were moments when tears freely flowed from hearts overwhelmed as images of that day called us to a fresh realization of the hellish cost of the freedom we so easily take for granted. Some consider it to be the greatest battle of the greatest war and fought by the greatest generation our nation has ever produced. At least this much is clear. Three of the greatest gifts God ever gave mankind were demonstrated during those awful hours and were etched indelibly into the hearts and minds of those of us who owe them our freedom.

Love was one of the forces moving the thousands of young men who poured out of boats that day. They ran headlong into mankind’s selfmade version of hell and the love driving them was not the kind we talk and sing about in today’s hedonistic culture. Most of what we call love these days is at best a manipulative, self-serving, anemic knock-off in comparison to what was demonstrated in Normandy 75 years ago. The love that defined itself in the actions of those men was something much deeper than poetic words and much more compelling than transient, selfish preferences. Love on that day stained the sand red, as dying hearts gave their last remaining strength to pump out the greatest contribution to our freedom that men could give.

Another of God’s incredible gifts to humanity delivered one of its greatest performances on D-Day. Hope seemed almost out of place in that bloody scene, but it was there and gaining entry wasn’t easy. Hope had to fight its way through the smoky aura of death and destruction hanging over those beaches, but fight it did. In the midst of a deafening cacophony of gunfire, the cries of dying men, and in spite of the human carnage scattered everywhere, a powerful, living hope rose up to defy it all. Ignoring the terror of bullets and enemy shrapnel, hope bolstered dwindling courage and infused exhausted limbs with strength for another step. Enemy weapons killed wave after wave of soldiers that day, but guns couldn’t kill the hope that kept others coming to take their place. Their hope overcame fear and enabled them to challenge death as often as it took to secure the freedom their victory would ultimately preserve.

Completing the trilogy of humanity’s greatest gifts displayed in that terrible battle is perhaps the most powerful of all. There is no more profound ability available to human beings than the capacity to believe. What we believe has more influence to define who we are, to direct what we do or fail to do, and to determine how we will react to circumstances than our intellect, our physical strength, or any other human characteristic. God created our capacity for "faith” to defend us in a world full of enemies and to sustain us in an endless stream of battles waiting to be fought. In Normandy, faith delivered one of the greatest demonstrations ever of its power to promote endurance in overwhelming conditions.

God described faith like this . . . Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV). Simply put, faith enables us to see what isn’t visible yet. It enables us to look beyond beyond the desperate circumstances that might be confronting us at the moment. Faith relies on the unchangeable character of God and His immutable promises, and it sees beyond the limitations posed by human weakness, and even beyond death itself.

One cannot think about those incredible qualities displayed on DDay without recalling another bloody battle against overwhelming odds that took place in Jerusalem centuries earlier. The Originator of the greatest love, the basis for the greatest hope, and the object of the greatest faith waded into an even more profound version of hell than anything seen on D-Day. On that day the dirt around the foot of a Roman cross was dyed the same color as the sand on Normandy’s beaches would eventually be. What the Son of God enshrined at Calvary was again on display at Normandy. Those soldiers didn’t win the greatest battle of the greatest war and become the greatest generation because of equipment they carried in their hands. The real power to overcome evil came from what they carried in their hearts. Through Jesus Christ, God calls us today to embrace the same qualities that granted victory to them..
  • Of love, He said this: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:13 (NKJV)
  • Of Hope, He declared:There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling... Ephesians 4:4a (NKJV)
  • Of faith, He promised this: For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 1 John 5:4 (NKJV)
In addition to being an active writer, speaker, teacher, and blogger, Ron Gallagher serves in a variety of roles as a ministry consultant for local churches. His Biblical insights are coupled with down-to-earth humor, satire, and relevant stories aimed at promoting "Right Side Up Thinking ~ in an Upside Down World.” Ron strives to apply God’s truth in a way that stimulates the mind, encourages the heart, and challenges the cultural norm.  Check out his blog, "Gallagher’s Pen” at

NEW BOOK . . .Ron’s new book, Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth, is now available on Amazon and through Lighthouse Bible Studies. Learn more at
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