• Today's Daily Devotion
Looking for A Divine Hand
The nighttime bombardment of Henderson Field was more intense that night than usual. The naval gunfire shells from the Japanese ships streaked red as they rained in and ...

Looking for a Divine Hand

The nighttime bombardment of Henderson Field was more intense that night than usual. The naval gunfire shells from the Japanese ships streaked red as they rained in and around the Marines’ positions. Each blast was a violent upheaval of shrapnel, dirt, and acrid smoke. An ammunition truck was hit, causing an enormous explosion that shook the island and hurled thousands of fragments through the air. A Navy chaplain huddled in his trench, sharing the terror with those around him:

Alongside me, head bowed, there were Catholic boys reciting their rosaries, Protestants murmuring prayers, and Jewish boys, with closed eyes, fingering the holy mezuzahs they wore around their necks. The adage that there are no atheists in foxholes was already familiar to me. In moments of deadly peril, the human hand reaches out for help from above. Even those who hadn’t uttered a word of prayer or been inside a house of worship for years before the war, were looking now for a Divine hand to shield them.

In times of real danger our superficial concerns are stripped away, and we are brought back to an elemental reality. There is a God, and we need him desperately. The universal need to pray at such times is proof of this point. Unfortunately, these prayers are often not remembered after the crisis passes. On this score I have been the worst offender. My bargains made with God while in physical danger were soon forgotten. I didn’t give him credit or thanks that I survived a war and was able to live a blessed life with my family. One of my foremost tasks as a new Christian has been trying to make up for all those years of ingratitude. I have a long way to go.

O Lord, I say to you, “You are my God.” Hear, O Lord, my cry for mercy. O Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle.

—Psalm 140:67


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