Thursday, May 7, 2009

Open Thou Mine Eyes

"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalm 119:18)

One evening in 1944, as Russian soldier Alexander Zatzepa lay in his foxhole awaiting the call to battle, he came to know the Lord. Knowing he might not return to his safe haven, he wrote the following words...

"Hear me, Oh God. Never in my whole lifetime have I spoken to you but just now I feel like sending you my greetings. You know from my childhood on they always told me that you are not. I, like a fool, believed them. I've never contemplated your creation and yet tonight gazing up out of my shell hole, I marvel at the shimmering stars above me and suddenly know the cruelty of the lie.

Will you, my God, reach your hand out to me? I wonder. But I will tell you and you will understand. Is it not strange that the light should come upon me and I see you amid this night of hell and there is nothing else that I have to say. This though, I am glad that I have learned to know you. At midnight we are scheduled to attack. But you are looking on and I am not afraid.

The signal... well, I guess I must be going. I have been happy with you. This more I would like to say. As you well know, the fighting will be cruel and, even tonight, I may come knocking at your door. Although I have not been a friend to you before, still will you let me enter even now and I do come?

Why am I crying, oh my God, my Lord? You see what happens to me?

Tonight my eyes were opened.

Farewell, my God. I'm going and I am not likely to come back. Strange is it not, but death I fear no longer."

Zatzepa died in the battle, but his words serve as an inspiration to all who read them. Alexander sought out and found the very same God I seek daily when I pray. He only met God for the first time in his foxhole, but now he is in Heaven, where he lives for eternity...knowing him.

I've seen a thousand wonders
By sea and mountain, been amazed
I've marveled at a sunset
By storm and thunder, I've been dazed

I've seen men at their finest
And by their greatness, been enthralled
I've seen them at their basest
By their degradatioin, been appalled

Through microscope and telescope
I've seen the great and small
But it is through the Holy Spirit
I've seen the greatest things of all

He showed me in the Bible
How Jesus bled and died
And how the debt of sin was paid
When He was crucified

Now, when the world oppresses
Above it, Let me rise
And to the greatness of thy power, Lord
Open thou mine eyes

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