Visualize this: the time is April 1945. The place is the Pacific Ocean around the island of Okinawa. A small navy ship, the USS Cross, a destroyer escort, is participating in support of an invasion of the island. The crew of the ship is at battle stations. Suddenly, numerous sailors see the terrifying sight of a torpedo coming straight for their ship. Unexplainably, there is no explosion. Whether the torpedo was too deep, or whether the small ship rode up on a large wave at just the right time, nobody knows. But the men of the USS Cross say a silent prayer of thankfulness that their ship and their lives have been spared. I know this story because my father was one of the sailors on that ship.
I think about this story from time to time and am always left wondering “what if”. If the torpedo had hit the USS Cross, in all likelihood it would have been destroyed with the loss of most, if not all of the men on it. I would never have been born. My children would never have been born. My grandchildren would never have been born. Who would my wife be married to instead of me? I can’t begin to understand things like this. But I know, love, and worship an almighty God who, not only understands this, but also controls things beyond the ability of any man to control.
The Bible has many stories in it about people being known by God, before they were ever born. Jeremiah 1: 5 says that God knew Jeremiah before he was born and God ordained him a prophet. John the Baptist has a similar story. And of course the birth of Jesus, our savior, is the fulfillment of prophecy from as early as Genesis. I know that my life is as nothing compared to Jesus, Jeremiah, John the Baptist and others. But I also believe that it is God’s will that I am alive, and that it is my purpose in life to serve God and keep His commandments.
APPLICATION: Discuss how a trusting faith in God, not only is part of our duty and service to Him, but that it also makes our lives better.