“And if not…”

by | Aug 22, 2011 | 2011, Musings | 0 comments

There are many incredible stories of courage and character that leap off the pages of a history book. Recently I had reason to consider the details of the Battle of Dunkirk. During World War II, the Germans had cornered the British Expeditionary Force and the French First Army along the French coast of the English Channel. Flanked by two German armies, over 330,000 allied troops were jammed together along a narrow corridor. Had the Germans advanced quickly, all would have been lost. But for some unknown reason, they delayed their advance and that “pause” allowed an amazing story to unfold.

Charles Colson in his great book, “The Body,” reports: “It was May 1940. Europe was engulfed in the Great War with Germany. France had fallen and England was the last remaining stronghold for the Allies. The Allied troops were backed into a corner, the Axis Army before them and the sea behind them. Vastly outnumbered, trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, they knew they would soon be overwhelmed by the German armies. All hope seemed to be gone. ”

“During this agonizing period, it is said that the British soldiers broadcasted a terse message across the English Channel. It was just three words: “And if not…” What was the meaning…was it code? NO. It was a reference to the Old Testament episode when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace.”

You remember the story. With firm resolve, those three Hebrew children asserted that they knew God was able to save them, but went on to affirm that even if He didn’t miraculously save them, they were going to remain faithful to him.

Back to Dunkirk…it is amazing, but the British people understood that rather oblique three word message of resolve and responded in mass. And using a ragtag navy of over 200 ships of all shapes and sizes, 338,226 soldiers were evacuated off the French coast.

That simple statement of resolve turned the tide of a major battle. And it occurs to me that simple statements of resolve can impact our lives as well. Perhaps this week you could review the story in Daniel 3 and as a child of God make some declarations of your own. Review the facts, and then take your stand. In face of your trial you might declare, “regardless of my circumstances, I trust Him! And if my circumstances don’t change, (“and if not”), I STILL trust Him!”

Keep an eye out for your own homemade flotilla!

By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel


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