Survival = Remembering + Redemption + Resilience

I just finished reading, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, and this book helped me to remember who I am because of who my father was along with reminding me of God's promise to always be with me--no matter what happens in my life.

Full of the reality of life, life's challenges, hope, despair, misery, hopelessness and the ways we are connected to each other, this story of Louis Zamperini will keep you turning the pages until you reach the very last page.  You will be rewarded with a story that ends well.  You will find yourself being thankful for those who have sacrificed and given themselves to serve in the military.  This book is a reality check on post war traumatic syndrome (we are surrounded by thousands of men and women every day who are struggling with this malady as a result of having served in Iraq and Afghanistan) and the havoc it brings to families and relationships.

My father was a B-24 airplane mechanic in World War II.  Louis Zamperini was a bombardier in a B-24.  As I read this book, I remembered being with my father in 1997 in the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.  He was 80, a widower (my mother died in 1994--they married in 1942 just before he was drafted into the Army Air Force), and I had finally convinced him to come with me on one of my trips to Dayton for work I did with the Kettering Foundation.

Because he was a WWII veteran, the museum guards allowed the two of us to go inside the B-24 that they have on display in the museum.  It was one of the best blessings and gifts God has given me on that day to see my father put his hands on the instrument panel in the cockpit and to teach me everything he knew about that plane.  For an hour we sat in this airplane as he told me stories of the intricacies of the way this plane worked and of the sadness that he and all the mechanics experienced over and over again when the airplanes and their crew did not return from their missions.  He told me stories of getting into arguments with pilots about the mechanical performance of the airplane when the problem was pilot error or pilot ignorance (the pilot had not read the new check list for modifications that had been made on "newer" models of the plane).  Reading this book brought this memory back to me along with reminding me of my father who knew he was God's child, and who taught me that I, too, was God's child.

I knew that Louis Zamperini was God's child, and I knew that it would take a long time for him to make that claim fully and receive God's redemption for his resilience.  His survival of being a WWII Japanese POW is equal to his remembering who God is, remembering what he promised God, and being resilient to all the forces of evil that overwhelmed him in his life.

Looking for a book that tells a story of the ways that remembering who God is will provide you with the redemption you need to survive whatever happens in your life? I recommend you read this book.  Some parts are hard to read, and isn't that the way our lives are?  Some parts of our life are hard to live, and God redeems it all and we survive to serve God and to serve others.


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