Jack Lucas’s Last Battle

From the FRC email June 6th. For those who have read Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, the following news is of great importance.

One of America’s greatest stories came to an end yesterday as Jack Lucas, the youngest Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor, died of cancer. After forging his mother’s signature so he could enlist at age 14, Jack begged his superiors to let him fight. He even “stowed away aboard a Navy ship headed for combat in the Pacific Ocean.” When he explained his situation to the officers on board, they granted his wish of fighting the Japanese. It turned out to be one of the best decisions they could have made. In a trench at Iwo Jima, Jack threw himself on two grenades to protect his squad. When one detonated, he was nearly killed. With hundreds of pieces of shrapnel lodged in every major organ, Jack underwent more than two dozen surgeries–and lived to tell about it. His Medal of Honor notes that his “inspiring action… not only protected his comrades from certain injury or possible death but also enabled them to rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance.” He died on Thursday after losing his battle with cancer. We remember Jack, as we remember so many soldiers from World War II–with humble gratefulness. President Reagan said it best when he looked out over Omaha Beach and told our veterans, “Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.”

Other posts that included Jack Lucas are Great Stories…Great Lives, Freedom, Coolness Redefined.

3 responses to “Jack Lucas’s Last Battle”

  1. Nicole T. says:

    Hey Tim,
    So glad you’re back! =) This last quote is truly amazing:

    “Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.”

    It so resonated with me because my mom was saying a while back how people have bumper-stickers, t-shirts, etc., that are supposed to witness the Gospel to the unreached world, but so very rarely is Christianity LIVED as Jesus Lived the Message and died to make it possible for us to Live in and by its Truth — through the Power of the Resurrection. The very same power that raised Jesus from the dead should be at work in us — if it is not, then it only means that we have not fully been to the Cross and MUST meet Him there.
    As I was reading this entry, I was struck that this young man would lay his life and health down for his comrades — it was just unbelievable to me. And I realized that that is what we are supposed to do — every one of us — as Christians. That is our call. We are to see God, and obedience to His Will, as entirely more important than our own survival. That totally goes against fallen human nature which seeks to assert itself — it means we must deny ourselves.
    Fear is one of the greatest motivators. I fear the consequences of what God asks of me. I fear my own weaknesses. I fear my doubt, my worries, my tendancy to run away from the battle when called on to fight. But God is bigger than my fears. God is greater than fear, itself. I must let Him motivate me. And I must obey Him right now, at every turn — however small or big — and trust that He is strong enough to keep me and carry me through, if I am to heed His Call on my life when in situations of real, grusome, and even unexpected, battle find me. I don’t know exactly how I’d react now if given the opportunity to lay my life down for my comrades — I might freeze in fear, at least for a moment. But I do know that God asks something of me each day and that whether I obey Him in the small things determines whether I will obey Him when its even harder. I know that now is my training. I know that every act of obedience or disobedience, every step forward and every hesitation, is a choice towards the person I will be in the midst of real conflict. May you and I pass every test.
    Also, you know what really strikes me about this, though? Is that because of this one man’s sacrifice, the troops were enabled to “rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance.” Lately, I’ve been considering why injustices like abortion continue, and continue on the rise, while there are people who fight. I’ve wondered why the Gospel is not truly advancing as Jesus commanded us to cause it to (in the Great Commission). I see fighting. But is that enough? Do I see lives laid down? Do I lay my own life down for the sake of my comrades, my Cause, my goal; as is required of every soldier?
    I pray that I would.
    May none of us hesitate to take our special, necessary part in God’s Plan of Redemption — may every Christian life be laid on the altar, every purpose become encompassed by His Purpose, every word of Truth be put to action with abandonment of all that would hinder; that every life, every heart and soul of every person He died for, might encounter His Heart, His Love, His Life laid down for us all, and be Saved.

  2. Y says:

    Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

    What can we learn from Jack? One thing I see is he disobeyed Mom, which rarely turns out for the best. The story tries to show all the good qualities of Jack by telling of his sacrifice for his comrades. Is this act enough to justify him in the sight of God? Should we follow his example in disobeying our parents to do some “great” deed? I would much rather be whole in body and looked down upon then be a “hero” through experiencing great difficulties Which Could’ve Been Avoided!

    1 Samuel 15:22b-23 Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…

    Yes, we need to be willing to give our energies, our talents and even our lives for the sake of others but, to go out of God’s boundaries to do so is to “sacrifice” and offer the “fat of rams” while practicing witchcraft, iniquity, and idolatry.

    Stories like this need to show both sides of the issue lest some fool young person uses such things as an excuse to “sacrifice” while disregarding the obeying part.

    Also, a medal of honor is no ornament of grace about your head and chains about your neck.

    Something to think about…

    God Bless!

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