• Today's Daily Devotion
Close-Order Drill
Many units did not arrive intact on the beaches at Dunkirk. Countless men were separated from their units during days and nights of rear-guard fighting. Many units seemed to ...

Close-Order Drill

Many units did not arrive intact on the beaches at Dunkirk. Countless men were separated from their units during days and nights of rear-guard fighting. Many units seemed to dissolve as they were drawn piecemeal out of the front lines, usually under cover of darkness, with vague instructions to move toward the beaches. Crowds of disorganized troops began to appear on the beaches, adding to the growing confusion.

At one point an old Irish Guards captain, Tom Gimson, restored order in his area by commanding all present to “Fall In!” Amazingly, all within earshot complied with the familiar and age-old command known to every military man and woman. Everyone lined up as on parade. The captain then exercised them in close order drill. The familiar orders seemed to instill a calm confidence in the men. Order was restored and the embarkation was able to continue.

The men on the Dunkirk beaches recognized a voice of authority. They responded accordingly to the benefit of all. Our challenge is to recognize God’s voice, our ultimate authority. For his own reasons he seldom commands us directly or issues orders in an overt manner. He expects us to seek him and to make the effort to discern his guidance. In answer to our prayers, he speaks quietly. He works subtly through our conscience and through our Christian friends. Most often we hear him in Scripture. When we have a measure of familiarity with the Bible, we will hear God’s calming voice whenever we need it, even in times of strife.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

—Psalm 23:4


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