Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. —1 Thessalonians5:17–18 (tlb)
I remember feeling waves of despair and depression four times in my life: when my mother died of ALS at age fifty-seven; when my husband left me for another woman; when my nephew Jacob was killed in a plane crash at age eighteen; and when Jack broke up with me.
Recently, my son Michael shared something he’d read about the despair, destruction, and depression that permeated our country after Pearl Harbor in 1941. Admiral Nimitz, after touring Pearl Harbor for the first time after the bombings, told the young helmsman on the tour boat that either the enemy had made three serious mistakes that day or God was protecting the United States in a big way.
First mistake: The attack was on a Sunday morning when nine out of every ten crewmen were ashore on leave. Any other day we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
Second mistake: The attackers were so busy sinking our battleships that they forgot to bomb the dry docks. That allowed the American fleet to tow the sunken ships into dry dock and repair them right there, instead of towing them all the way to the mainland, which would have taken months, perhaps years.
Third mistake: Every drop of fuel was in storage tanks five miles away. One attack plane could have destroyed the entire supply, but the tanks were left intact.
When I look back at the tough times in my own life, I see that God got me through the gloom . . . just like He did for America seventy-three years ago. God is truly there orchestrating the aftermath of destruction that sometimes permeates our lives.
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