I had recently watched the longest documentary on WWII that I had ever seen. It’s on Netflix and it’s called The War; a documentary by Ken Burns. The first episode was over 2 hours long and each subsequent episode was almost 2 hours long. So I watched a total of just over 14 hours. The backstory was of some families in four cities across the United States and the soldiers. You can’t appreciate what they went through till you watch something like this. First of all, the U.S. army was little more than that of Romania at that time and still had guns from WWI. (That eventually changed when they got better weapons.) The U.S. was not prepared to jump into another war but the Japanese changed all that with Pearl Harbor. Kids were drafted. They were kids to me because they were sometimes younger than 18 years of age and even into their early twenties. They had to be hastily trained and thrown into battle, inexperienced and scared to death. Never mind what Patton, played by George C. Scott, did to that one soldier who was suffering from battle fatigue. He may as well have slapped every single soldier that was laying there wounded in the hospital because they were all frightened. One soldier in the Ken Burns film said that he was shaking so bad from fright while in the European theater that he was relieved to find out that another soldier near him, who was more experienced (and maybe by only a few months), was also shaking. But they pressed on. They got tough and better.
Pretty much like we Christians have to get; tougher and better. I had recently watched sermons by John MacArthur on YouTube in which he spoke about Satan and how God uses him to bring about certain results in us.(along with how horrendous evil Satan is and we are his main target and how the rest of the world is in his control.) Like in the case of Job, God allowed Satan to have his way with Job, except he could not take Job’s life. Job was a righteous man and loved by God. But at the end of that long and heartbreaking stream of disasters, Job’s righteous was refined like gold and he was on a whole new level spiritually. Those undergoing very tough and long trials should take comfort in the fact that God is actually accomplishing something in them that will truly amaze them once they come out the other side. And perhaps God is taking His relationship with you to a whole new level; closer, tighter and more intense.
Right now both my sons and myself are going through so many different and relentless trials that would make the non-Christian hit the bars. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on my knees crying my eyes out before God. But God has never left me. He’s right there with me and my sons. It was a combination of the WWII film and John MacArthur that made me see things with more clarity. Sometimes when we are in an emotional upheaval we can’t see very clearly, so God will show you what you need to see in ways that you would understand. You’d be surprised at what weapons Satan will use against you. Even other Christians. Even attacking your personal relationship with God and try to make you doubt that.
Back to the war. In stark contrast, the German, Japanese and Italian armies were way more experienced and way more in number. These were all highly trained soldiers, especially the Germans and Japanese, and better equipped. The Japanese were also relentless. The enemy soldiers were much like Satan’s army, highly skilled and motivated and also vast in number. The attack on Pearl Harbor would be typical of Satan, who often launches surprise attacks and then continues relentlessly. We have a superior Commander-in-Chief; Jesus Christ. But if we do not put on the whole armor of God, we can be unprepared and a target for our enemy, Satan.
It took forever to launch D-Day, which was the invasion of Normandy and a major turning point to the war. What surprised me was to see, when the newspapers printed big headlines that the invasion had taken place, how many people crammed into churches and synagogues to pray for the troops. People were praying everywhere; on their jobs, in the shipyards where battleships were being built and every other place. You’d never see that now. It showed a lot of men in the shipyard kneeling in prayer. I was stunned. There was also a lot of sacrifice on the part of the American people as well as the British; gathering scrap metal and rubber to be turned over to the government to make weapons and other needed things. Plus, food was rationed and Americans had to become resourceful in what they cooked.
Factories were pumping out weapons, munitions, tanks, jeeps, aircraft, etc, in amazing numbers. Bombers were cranked out every 63 minutes and had over a million parts. Some of the things I had previously heard about WWII were clarified in this film. For instance, it was only the Japanese on the west coast were hauled off to internment camps. Not all the Japanese in the entire country. Also, the young Japanese-American men who were conscripted into the army from those camps turned out to be the most ferocious soldiers we had and the battalion was nicknamed The Purple Heart Battalion. They fought in Europe, not in the Pacific.
Like Satan, the Nazis and the Japanese threw everything they had at the allied forces.The Japanese were particularly brutal and barbaric toward their prisoners and the Bataan Death March was the most infamous. And like Satan, those Nazis who ran the concentration camps were pure evil in what they did to millions of innocent and defenseless people.
One of the Marines, who was in the Pacific, spoke about the relentless shelling and never knowing if the next bullet had their name on it. He said, “It was a matter of faith. You will survive if the Lord is willing or you will not. So you just take it.” This was in the battle for Guadalcanal. We have an Advocate, a King, who has died for us and will not let us go and who will fortify us and help us. In some cases, He will fight the battles for us. I had the experience of the Lord working behind the scenes for me when I had no idea what was actually going on. He worked quickly and decisively and truly amazed me. I will talk about that at a later date.
Sometimes it is so intense you don’t know how you’re going to make it through. But you will. Jesus will get you through because you are His. No matter what Satan throws at you, Jesus is right there. Don’t forget that. Jesus has defeated him on the Cross. Satan has already failed. He’s already lost. Don’t let him convince you otherwise. Don’t let his lies infiltrate and make you doubt God or feel like you are alone. You’re not alone.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13