Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, April 03, 2017

An Important Question: Are You Ready?

My life is made up of seeing people, all kinds. It seems that most of these people are having their life changed. There are some who do not come into victory. Please pray for me for wisdom, power, and love so that more of them would walk in the light.

One of my earliest times of seeing people was 28 September 1950. My ship, the USS Brush (DD745), hit a mine off Tanchan, North Korea, at 12:19 September 26, 1950. I had been ordered out of my battle station minutes before. I left the chief petty officer in charge and went. When I reported to my boss, he could not remember why he had asked me to come.

The explosion obliterated my battle station. The chief was blown out of the room, but he only lived two hours afterward. One sailor was pulled out alive, but five were killed instantly inside the station. We lost a total of 16 men, and more than 30 men had third-degree burns. Because I was the Christian on the ship, I was delegated to conduct the funeral service when we buried the chief at sea. He was the man who died in place of me.

We had no chaplain, so I set up a counseling post on the torpedo deck on the 01 level on 28 September. Sailors lined up to see me. They had questions like, “Why did Joe die?”

“Why do you ask about Joe?" I asked. "Fifteen other men died.”

“Joe was my running mate. We went ashore together.”

“I will ask the right question. Are you ready to die? We are two days away from port, steaming at four knots with a broken keel. A heavy sea could break us in half. It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Are you ready for the judgment?”

That was 66 years ago. I have been answering the same kind of questions with the same answer ever since.

The chief died in place of me. Of most importance, Jesus Christ died in place of me. I am 89 years old. I have heart trouble and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. I am not afraid - I am looking forward to being forever with the Lord.

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