Back when I was a kid in my 20’s I was living in a tropical clime while gainfully employed by the US Army. And this is a true story.
My section was concerned because the Air Force was sling-loading old abandoned cars from the base and trying to drop them in a place that had a steep rolling front slope and was covered in elephant grass. That was our impact area; the place where we were dropping artillery. Too many of those cars just hit the ground and bounced down the slope into the tall grass where we couldn’t see them. Every now and again, one car would hit other old targets and stay in place. But most were lost in the tall grass.
Hmmm. Maybe we could get a better view of the target area from the adjacent hill?
Our Fearless Leader, a young Lt., decided that we should leave the comfort of our 980 meter hill with a nice road leading up to the top, for the adjacent hill, which had only a small trail leading up to it.
In spots, the trail was wide enough for a man to put down both feet, then narrowed to a trail that you had to hug the hillside that ran along the trail, while shuffling along and trying not to look down at the 300 foot drop below, Part of the trail had washed away and you had to jump across the gap to get to the other side.
Everybody made it. The hill wasn’t anywhere near what the map showed. The top of the hill was covered by jungle vegetation and appeared to be shorn off. The map was 400 meters off.
Oh well, we found a rocky slippery place to squat down on. There was just enough of a clear view that we could see through, to drop a few artillery rounds. But the overall view was worse than the hill that we left.
At this point, we decided that we were wasting our time. Problem: In order to get down off the hill in one piece, we had to sit down, push with our legs and shift our weight at the last minute to avoid sliding off a 600 ft cliff.
You couldn’t walk down to the trail standing up. It was too slippery.
The trail was off to the left. Miss it, and its certain death.
Since I was the senior enlisted. I got to go first. Ever since I became born-again lets just say that I wasn’t exactly Mr. Popular. No biggie. The Lord was with me all the time, Daily, I could feel His powerful presence no matter where I went.
So I began my slide. Sitting on my rear end, and using my feet to start my slide, and gravity to propel me forward, I slid pretty fast towards the left-hand turn down onto the main part of the trail.
I had my M-16 strapped under my arms and my sling-keeper locked. As I shifted my weight to make the turn, my sling-keeper popped loose.
Oh man, I can hear the M-16 hit the ground, and I’m thinking while I’m sliding, that it is going to slide down the cliff into the thick jungle below and we’re going to spend the rest of the day looking for it…or maybe I’ll get an Article 15 for loosing my weapon.
Nope. Didn’t happen. Gravity should have taken over and the weapon should have slid straight down off the cliff. Instead, the butt of the weapon struck the ground, bounced up in the air, was caught by unseen hands, shifted left, and was dropped gently into my lap, as I was making my turn.
All I could hear from the guys behind me was “Did you see that?” “I don’t believe what I just saw.” Over and over again everyone of my compadres was questioning what they just witnessed.
When we got back, I asked everyone what they saw, and no one would comment. All the Lt. would say was: “I don’t know about you… But someone (looking up at the sky) is looking out for you”.
That incident wasn’t for my benefit. I read the account of Doubting Thomas. Blessed is he who believes that doesn’t have to see. My fellow team members have no reason to not believe. They got to see the power of the noble “I Am” with their own eyes.
God is. And is a rewarder of those who seek diligently after Him. Period.
What do you believe?