Summary: What if there were QRCs for situations we face in our lives? This message looks at where to quickly go when you feel like a failure.
The year was 1863 and the US Civil War was in its second year. Historians tell us that at that point if you were keeping score the Confederate Army was ahead.
The War had shifted its focus from the Southern States and General Robert E Lee was embarking on his second Invasion of the North marching into Pennsylvania. The hope being, that if the South could penetrate as far as Harrisburg or even Philadelphia that the North would call an end to the war that had divided a nation. The Battle began at Gettysburg Pennsylvania on July 1 and the Confederate forces quickly took the advantage. By the second day the Rebel forces are preparing for the push that would assure them the victory.
One of the vital positions being held was a hill called “Little Round Top” and it was held by the “20th Maine”, a volunteer unit in the Union army. The unit’s commander was Colonel Joshua Chamberlain a 34 year old professor of rhetoric from Bangor Maine.
Just a year before we are told there had been over a 1000 men under Chamberlain’s command when they left Bangor. However by 1863 the numbers had been reduced to a few hundred who had been commanded to hold the line at Little Round Top against the advancing 15th & 47th Alabama regiments.
After the third advance of the confederate forces the men of the 20th Maine were out of ammunition and the command was given to gather the ammunition from the dead and the wounded. The men were able to gather enough ammunition to hold off another attack from the Alabamians one more time. But only one more time. The Southerners gathered at the bottom of the hill, preparing to attack again, knowing that the small group of union soldiers couldn’t hold on forever. And they were right.
Chamberlain was left with fewer than 100 men facing a force many time their size. Without ammunition and no chance of reinforcements it was apparent that their brave efforts had failed and the line would be breached.
They had tried their best, no one could fault the men of the 20th Maine or their commander, but it was apparent to all with the sense that God gave them that they were finished I’m sure this wasn’t how Joshua Chamberlain pictured his military career ending when he took a leave of absence from Bowdoin College.
Have you ever been in that position? At your own “Little Round Top”? You’ve tried, you’ve really tried you’ve given it everything you have but it just hasn’t seemed to work. Perhaps it was in your work, maybe a passion in your life or a relationship or maybe as part of your commitment to follow Christ. But now your resources are spent, you are tired and you can’t imagine going on. In the eyes of the world, in the eyes of your friends and in the eyes of yourself you are a failure.
This is week three of our “QR Codes for your life series”. QRCs or Quick Retrieval Codes are those square bar codes you see everywhere you go these days. They are in magazine, newspapers, on billboards and signs in restaurants.
And with the proper app you can scan them with your iPhone; BlackBerry or Smart Phone and they will take you to a website with more information on the topic at hand.
If you scan the QRC on the back of our bulletin it will take you to Cornerstone’s Website where you will find out all there is to know about our church.
What if there were QRC’s for our Christian life, when we came to a difficult situation we could just scan the code and it would take us to where we need to go in God’s word to find an answer?
That of course it our premise for the month of November. Last week we looked at Temptation and our QRC took us to 1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
This week we are looking at Failure. What does God’s word have to say when we feel that we can’t go on? But first back to our story.
July 2nd 1863, Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine have held back the men of the 15th Alabama Infantry regiment four times, but now they were out of ammunition and almost out of men. Chamberlain orders his men to again collect ammunition from the dead and dying only to be told there was no ammunition left.
Some of his junior officers recommended surrendering, but Chamberlain had been told how vital their position was to the Union defence and he knew that they would be unable to defend Little Round Top one more time. And so he commanded his men to fix their bayonets and he led the charge against the enemy position. And the remaining 80 members of the 20th Maine, armed only with bayonets captured over 400 heavily armed confederate soldiers.