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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

November 11, 2013 - God Answers Prayer

By Scott McChrystal

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14,15, NIV).

It was a cold, overcast March day in Tusla, Bosnia, in 1996. The biting wind made it even more miserable. As the Task Force Eagle chaplain, I was visiting the Aviation Brigade unit ministry teams located at Comanche Base Camp. Having just arrived, I was talking with the brigade and one of the battalion chaplains, Capt. Dan Wackerhagen.

Suddenly, the base camp emergency alarm sounded and a soldier came running by us saying that some of our soldiers had been injured. Immediately the three of us went to the scene of the accident. A huge machine-gun tower constructed out of 20-foot-long 12-inch-square beams had collapsed and fallen on some soldiers.

Given the limited medical resources available, we were experiencing a mass casualty event. There was yelling and screaming as soldiers rushed to the scene. It was a terrifying sight.

One of the soldiers was pinned to the ground by a huge beam. The beam had fallen horizontally across the small of his back. The beam was too large to pick up. The engineers quickly brought shovels and began to dig under the soldier until they could slide him out from under the beam.

A sense of dread had fallen over those present because of the potential seriousness of the soldier's injuries. He was sobbing and moving his arms, but his legs were completely limp. "I can't feel my legs!" he kept repeating.

Soon the engineers slid a 12-foot-long 2-by-10 board under the soldier and pulled him out from under the beam.

The medical evacuation team had just arrived and was making its assessment. Sgt. Watson was not a pretty sight. In addition to coughing up blood, he was bleeding heavily from the upper skull area, nose, and left ear. The likelihood of multiple fractures and internal bleeding in the chest cavity seemed high. Paralysis in one or more limbs was certainly possible.

The medics tried to be as gentle as they could, but the process still appeared brutal. In life-and-death situations, the medics cannot afford to allow pain to slow their work. The soldier was in obvious agony, screaming the entire time and even louder as the medics examined his injuries and started an intravenous injection to keep him from going into shock.

The medics strapped Sgt. Watson to the board to immobilize his neck and back. They then carried him to a helicopter standing by and loaded him aboard. But there was a problem.

The board to which the medics had strapped the soldier extended out the sides of the helicopter. It was not a safe situation. They placed the injured soldier back on the ground. One of the engineers produced a hand crosscut saw and proceeded to cut off both ends of the board.

Every time the engineer cut a stroke, the injured soldier cried out in pain. It seemed like it was taking forever to get him out of there. It was excruciating to watch. The medics, pilots, and engineers surrounding him were unnerved and arguing about what to do.

Then, God intervened in a special way. Chaplain Wackerhagen stepped near the soldier. He knelt down and laid his hands on the injured soldier's head and began to loudly recite the Lord's Prayer. Something very special happened. Everyone there seemed to sense God's presence. The soldier calmed down and became very quiet, peaceful, and still.

The engineer cutting the board started making his way quickly through the wood. Every soldier there was reciting the Lord's Prayer along with Chaplain Wackerhagen. He finished the prayer and the medics got the soldier on the chopper and to the hospital. At the hospital, the doctors found only a few minor bruises.

I believe God did a miracle at Comanche Base Camp that day because a military chaplain turned to God in prayer. With him, a bunch of cold, dirty, tired, and worn-out soldiers called upon His Name in time of crisis.

The lesson is simple, but profound. No matter how out of control things seem to get on the ground, always remember to pray. God will help you.

— Retired Chaplain Col. Scott McChrystal serves as the military/VA representative for the Chaplaincy Department of the Assemblies of God. Adapted from Daily Strength for the Battle, Volume 3.

 

 

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