An Indelible Picture

It was mid-winter, and World War 2 was drawing to a close. Brandon Rimmer, son of evangelist, lecturer, author Harry Rimmer, marched into an Italian city with the first American troops to occupy it. As he picked his way down streets pitted with shell holes, heaped with rubble, lined with gutted, tottering walls of ruined buildings, he came upon an unforgettable scene.
The Germans had withdrawn from the immediate area, but were still lobbing shells into the town intermittently. Every few minutes, as one would land, a geyser of debris rose skyward, then fell to earth again. One wall standing alone in the midst of this chaos bore on its summit a shining crucifix; but at its base, as though drawn there by a powerful magnet, bodies of the dead lay in piles.
Somewhat apart from this mass of slain men lay a single body, that of a young German soldier. He had been wounded in the upper thigh by a piece of shrapnel. The hole was big and jagged and so high up that a tourniquet could not be properly applied. He had tried to fashion one from his belt, twisting it around what was left of his leg. It had been obvious even to him that this was useless, for he had apparently abandoned his efforts and pulled out his Testament in the search for strength and comfort.
What a picture was thus imprinted on the heart and mind of the American! The German's belt lay loosely around what had once been a leg. The open Bible had half fallen from one hand and the other hand shaded eyes that could no longer see.
With jaws set tight, young Brandon picked his way through rubble and between dead bodies to the side of the German lad. He wanted to see with what scripture he had left this scene. When the American bent to observe more closely the sacred page, he found the Book open at Romans 8: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus... For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us... And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Almost as a marker, the thumb of the hand holding the Book was pressed firmly on the last two verses of that beloved passage: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:38-3938For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38‑39).
What blessed and divine assurance to carry one through the valley of the shadow! Friend, is it yours? Or has indifference, unbelief, and sin hardened you against the love of God so that death is your dreaded enemy?
Then here is good news for you: "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).
Trust the Lord Jesus as your ever present Comforter and all-powerful Savior. Then you can say:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood."