Today’s reading is drawn from Psalm 27.The words of Psalm 27 drip with hope. Although his enemies are near, David is defiantly confident that God will conquer his fears, strengthen him and grant him the desire of his heart: to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of [his] life.”
During times of tremendous trial, we often turn to the Lord in hopes of feeling his presence. This was never more true for Robert Honeycutt than during the time he spent as a prisoner of war.
During World War II, each member of the United States Air Force was required to fly 50 missions before going home. Having already participated in a mission, 19-year-old Robert Honeycutt was eager to put the war behind him, so he volunteered for the dangerous task of photographing the damage inflicted during the air attacks. He reasoned that this would afford him more fly time, but it also meant that he would be in the last plane to fly over each time—the most vulnerable position.
On his 29th mission, Bob’s plane was shot down over the Austrian Alps. In his book, The Eleventh Man, Bob recounts how God was with him even as he parachuted out of the burning plane. As he was floating toward earth, an enemy bomber approached him in the air. Bob knew he was an easy target. The pilot of the plane slowed down but did not open fire with his machine gun. Instead, for a moment, the two men made eye contact … and then the pilot waved. Bob waved back.
Soon after he hit the ground, he was captured by enemy forces. Isolated and unsure of what awaited him, Bob began to pray fervently. That day God became real to Bob. For the next 11 months, Bob’s faith would be his strength even as he was taken to a concentration camp and marched around Germany for more than 800 miles before his eventual release.
Can you think of a time in your own life when you cried out to God? What happened?
Meditate on Psalm 27 and ask God to make David’s hope your own.
Maybe you heard the story about the day Lisa finally had enough. Her husband, Greg, loved to shoot. An expert marksman, he traveled widely to compete against other enthusiasts, and occasionally he brought home a trophy. But Lisa had no interest in marksmanship. In fact, she didn’t like guns—period. To make matters worse, she missed her husband terribly while he was away pursuing his hobby.
One day it dawned on her that their relationship was in trouble. That was the day Lisa finally had enough. Lisa asked Greg to teach her how to shoot a rifle, then joined him in his travels. Soon she decided to compete at the shooting events. To Lisa’s surprise, she liked firing a rifle. And to her husband’s surprise, Lisa was a very good shot. She even started bringing home more trophies than he did. But of the prizes they brought home, one stood out above all the rest: Their marriage seemed reborn. The time they spent together at their newfound common interest helped them develop a closeness that simply hadn’t existed before.
Lisa’s story is a good reminder that what seems like an obstacle might really be an opportunity. Creative, committed couples discover this secret everyday. Just ask a husband who’s learned to love ballroom dancing or a wife who’s gotten hooked on fly fishing. That’s because the best times always seem to come in pairs.
Just between us…
When was the last time we tried a new activity together?
Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
Are there activities keeping us apart that we could do together?
Dear God, we ask for fresh determination to explore new interests and activities together. Where our marriage would be strengthened by playing together, help us let go of the old habits and assumptions that keep us apart. Amen.