“Faith never knows where it is being led,
but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”
— Oswald Chambers
A Christian education class that Chuck and I participated in for a couple of years was also attended by a number of young Marines and their wives. Every Sunday, officers met with enlisted men to study God’s Word and pray together. The sincere encouragement that they offered one another and the stories they shared about military life were nothing less than extraordinary. On this specific morning, Captain Larry Naife talked about an incident that had happened to him during the week, when God had provided him with an unexpected opportunity to demonstrate his faith.
Larry explained to the class that he’d felt the need to speak to his men about the importance of maintaining a good moral image. In response to his lecture, a few of the men chose the next “junk-on-the-bunk” inspection to challenge their commanding officer’s sincerity and conviction.
When Captain Naife entered the barracks that day, he sensed that something was amiss. He called the men to attention and proceeded with the inspection. As he reached the third bunk, he spotted a Bible that had been strategically placed alongside the required arrangement of gear and weapons. The awkward side-glances of the men alerted him to the fact that he had fallen prey to a carefully contrived snare.
The captain picked up the Bible and unzipped the cover. Slowly he walked across the room to stand before his challenger. “What’s this, Private?” he questioned.
“My faith and my weapon, Sir!” came the practiced reply of the young recruit.
The captain leafed through the pages of the Bible as though he were inspecting it. “Well Private,” he responded. “I don’t see any underlining or any notes in the margins.” He closed the Book and ran his finger along the edge, adding, “There’s dust on the cover and in the binding.”
Captain Naife zipped the cover closed and handed the Bible back to its owner, saying, “You should take better care of your ‘weapon’, Private.”
Chuck and I were tremendously blessed by the fellowship of that group. I realize now that it was a unique experience that I will never again encounter along my life journey.
“Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go!
It will be done just as you believed it would.’
And his servant was healed at that very hour.”
(Matthew 8: 5-13)
A RUST REMOVER …
Have you prayed for your military men and women lately? Remember that Jesus loves each precious one of them – even if they don’t know Him personally. Link to www.operationwearehere.com for suggestions on how you might encourage or help a modern-day “centurion.”