Tag Archives: World War II

“But if not.”

The Dunkirk Evacuation, commonly known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, code-named Operation Dynamo by the British, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 27th and the early hours of June 4th 1940.

dunkirk1

More than 300,000 the British, French, and Belgian troops were cut off by the German army during the Battle of Dunkirk in the Second World War and their death or capture seemed all but certain. The evacuation was ordered on May 26th along with a call by King George to pray for the troops.

In a speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill called the events in France “a colossal military disaster”, saying that “the whole root and core and brain of the British Army” had been stranded at Dunkirk. In his We shall fight on the beaches speech on June 4th, he hailed their rescue as a “miracle of deliverance”.

At one point during this whole series of events a message was sent to the war command: “But if not.”

It was a reference to the three Hebrews in the book of Daniel who refused to bow to a golden statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar. The choice was bow to the statue and save their skin or honor God and face the fiery furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” ~ Daniel 3:16-18 (ESV)

They chose to honor God and He rescued them from certain death, but what’s amazing is that they made their choice knowing God was able to save them but not knowing if He would save them.

We face difficult circumstances all the time. And it’s completely understandable to ask God to straighten out the kinks. But are we ready to trust Him even if He doesn’t? Will we say…

But if not.

***

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adversity, Choices, Christianity, Courage, Faith, God, God's Will, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God

Time to put the saints into circulation

During the darkest hours of World War II, Britain faced a critical shortage of silver for the war industries. Informed of the crisis, Winston Churchill asked if there were any possible sources of silver, however remote.

The answer came back: Yes, the churches, cathedrals, and abbeys held beautiful, sterling silver statues of the saints. From Churchill came the now-famous reply…

“Well, it’s time to put the saints into circulation!”

They did, and the rest is history.

This is a great reminder that everything we own belongs to God and should be available to be used to bless others. I can almost hear your head gently nodding in agreement.

But let me get a bit more personal.

It’s Saturday. It’s the weekend. It’s your chance to relax and have some fun. It’s your day to do as you please. Or is it?

Could this day be more than just another Saturday? Could this be the day that God uses you or something you own to bless a fellow human being?

Are you available to God to be put into circulation today?

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Filed under influence with the world, Loving others, Serving, Surrender

Which voice will we listen to?

Frank Furedi documented an increasing use of fear in the media by counting the appearances of the term at risk in British newspapers. In 1994 the term appeared 2,037 times. By the end of the next year, the total had doubled. It increased by half in 1996. During the year 2000 at risk was printed more than eighteen thousand times. (1)

Has world danger really increased ninefold in six years or has fear begun to run amuck? For the first time since the end of the Second World War, parents expect that life for the next generation will be worse than it was for them. (2)

Reporter Bob Garfield tracked health articles in major publications and discovered that, among other health issues:

  • 59  million Americans have heart disease,
  • 53  million Americans have migraines,
  • 25  million Americans have osteoporosis,
  • 16  million struggle with obesity,
  • 3  million have cancer,
  • 2  million have severe brain disorders.

Reportedly, in total, 543 million Americans consider themselves to be seriously sick, a troubling figure since there are only 266 million people in the country. As Garfield noted, “Either as a society we are doomed, or someone is seriously double-dipping.” (3)

What about we who profess Jesus as Lord? Will we give in to this doomsday mentality or will we turn to our Maker, and because we do, fear less? As Max Lucado puts it:

“Courage does not panic; it prays. Courage does not bemoan; it believes. Courage does not languish; it listens. It listens to the voice of God calling through Scripture, ‘Fear not!’

Which voice will we listen to?

PS – Join us this Sunday at Hagerstown Congregational as we wrap up our Fearless series.

(1) Frank Furedi, Culture of Fear Revisited, xviii
(2) Ibid., 68
(3) John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, 132

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Filed under Courage, Faith, Fear