There is nothing good about war. Not for the soldiers, peace-keepers, or civilians in harm’s way.
When our son-in-law was deployed to Afghanistan, we began praying for him Psalm 91, as did other family and friends. As we prayed, we felt our fears subside.
Our son-in-law told us about an incident that occurred while he was piloting his Chinook helicopter in combat and taking heavy fire from the ground. Suddenly, the weapons on the right side of the Chinook failed leaving the craft and all men and women aboard it unprotected; instantly reacting, he swung the helicopter around for protection. At that same moment, a ground-to-air missile from enemy fire exploded where they had been a split-second before. Searing heat ripped through the cockpit burning the side of his face. The explosion was so deafening and it was such a near miss that the helicopter heaved violently, and our son-in-law’s hearing on the side closet to it was lost. Had the weapons on the Chinook not failed the exact moment they did causing him to change course, the Chinook would have been hit and all aboard would have died.
My son-in-law believes that God protected him that day – and other days as well.
I too believe that God shielded him that day, a result of our son-in-law’s and family’s faith in God, trust in Him, and constant prayer.
“We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For he rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you don’t need to be afraid of the dark anymore, nor fear the dangers of the day; nor dread the plagues of darkness, nor disasters in the morning.
Though a thousand fall at my side, though ten thousand are dying around me, the evil will not touch me. I will see how the wicked are punished, but I will not share it. For Jehovah is my refuge! I choose the God above all gods to shelter me. How then can evil overtake me or any plague come near me? For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail. You can safely meet a lion or step on poisonous snakes, yes, even trample them beneath your feet!
For the Lord says, ‘Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name. When he calls on me, I will answer; I will be with him in trouble and rescue him and honor him. I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation.”(Psalm 91)
Psalm 91 is called “the soldier’s prayer,” but we don’t need to be a soldier to seek God’s refuge and protection.
Nor do we need to be a soldier to ask God for strength to face whatever challenges we must face. We have only to believe in God, call on Him, and He will be with us in our times of need.
Whether we make God our only god and trust in Him is our choice. Whether we accept Christ into our lives is totally our decision. If we believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and love God above all else, we are not promised an easy worldly life, but we are promised a fulfilling one and an eternal life — and we need never feel alone.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. These bodies of ours are constantly facing death just as Jesus did; so it is clear to all that it is only the living Christ within us that keeps us safe… That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day.”(2 Corinthians 4:8-16)
Thank you, Lord, for giving us the choice to know You and to follow Jesus. And thank you, Lord, through your mercy, patience, and grace, for allowing us to love and honor You as You love us.
Photo Credit: US Army Aviation, Afghanistan