“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5
Sometimes people forget that which is important; sometimes nations forget too.
In the case of Alonzo Cushing, both people and a nation forgot him and what he did. First Lieutenant Cushing, who hailed from Delafield, Wisconsin, was part of the Union Army engaged at Gettysburg. By July 3rd Cushing had already seen two days of battle. Now came the ultimate test: General Lee had ordered Pickett to charge across a field, break the Union lines, and capture the high ground.
At the other end of that field was 22-year-old Lieutenant Cushing and his battery of six guns.
Seeing the Confederate advance, some of Cushing’s men acted as if they were going to desert. Cushing told them if someone tried he would be shot. He never had to make good on the threat. Instead, he directed the barrage of his cannons to where they would have the greatest effect.
One after another Cushing’s cannons were silenced.
Cushing himself was shot in the shoulder and a second shot tore open his abdomen. The Lieutenant was urged to go to the rear for treatment, but he replied he would “fight it out or die in the attempt.” Holding his exposed intestines, Cushing directed the only one of his cannons that was still firing. This he did until a third wound ended his life.
For his gallantry, Lieutenant Cushing received a posthumous promotion … and that is all.
Cushing was forgotten until, in 1987, a lady who lived in his hometown revived his memory and encouraged the Medal of Honor be given to the fallen Lieutenant. For 20 years she told his story to all who would listen. For two decades she pleaded that Congress pass a special bill that would allow Cushing’s sacrifice to be given the highest honor a grateful nation can award.
Finally, 151 years after Lieutenant Cushing died, the nation remembered, and the award was given.
Yes, there are times when people forget and a nation fails to remember.
Not so with God. The Lord always remembers His promises. Now that does not mean He fulfills them according to our desire or our timetable. He doesn’t. He who sees all and knows all awaits that time when everything is prepared for the fulfillment of His pledge. That is what happened during the years God’s people waited for release from Egyptian slavery.
It is what happened when Jesus was born into this world to offer Himself as the ransom price that would win our forgiveness and salvation. It took thousands of years before God’s promise to send a Savior was fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Over the centuries many watched and waited for the Messiah’s arrival, but the Lord acted “when the fullness of time was come.” It’s what He does for nations, for people, and for us, as Jesus gives Himself so we might have a perfect life in heaven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I entrust all my tomorrows into Your hands. May I do this with confidence that You remember Your promises and will do what is right for Your people when the fullness of time is come. This I ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus Lutheran Hour Ministries All rights reserved; not to be duplicated without permission.