My father was in the 4th Marine Division during WWII and was a signalman and radio operator. His division made 4 landings in the Pacific and he survived by the grace of God.
The story I am sharing with you my Dad told me in 1995 the year my young husband of 10 years passed away at 34 years of age from Von Hipple Landu Syndrom (Causes Cancer of the brain, inherited genetic disease). Dad rarely told any accounts of his experiences in battle but I believe he shared this with me to show there is more to this life than we can even dream or imagine. Dad told me that he was very angry with God the day they left Iwo Jima and never understood why so many men had to die on that battlefield. One year after his return to the states he said he had a vivid dream and God told him that one day he would understand and not to be angry anymore. My Dad lived to be 83 years old and was a devout follower of Christ. This is the story he shared with me about his colleagues in his unit.
As the 4th Marine Division was at the height of the battle of Iwo Jima there was constant fighting all around. Men were being blown up everywhere and many of the Japanese soldiers were jumping off the cliffs of this volcano rather than be taken hostage.
One morning as the men always gathered for church prayers and mass before breakfast (no denominations in war Dad said, Protestant and Catholics worship together in war) After morning prayers the men would assemble in a chow line to eat and then sit in a group together. There was one Marine who was from New York and he was a very loud kinda crass guy, as Dad described him. He came over to the group of men that Dad was eating breakfast with and he stated in a very loud tone with the strong NY accent, “There is NO GOD, you guys are full of “C@#*”!!”! One of the marines replied back to him, “we will pray for you and pray that God will reveal himself to you!” The Marine responded with, “Yea right you expect me to believe that you pray and talk to A God and he will save all of us in this mess! Your full of “C%#@” and he walked away.
The rest of the day the men went back to the fighting and battle. The following morning the same thing again, they went to prayers and then to breakfast. The following day the guy walked by and just laughed at the group really loud. The fellow shouted back to him “We are still praying for you!!”
The following morning the same church and then at breakfast something happened, this fellow came running over to the group of men. Dad described the way he looked like he was in shock! Apparently it was not too unusual considering where they were at the time or the circumstances. The Marine proceeded to tell the group that he was on the all night watch above the camp overlooking on the cliffs and could see their camp below. He said he almost fell asleep and he could not fall asleep because he could be killed or captured by the enemy easier. He told the group the then thought he was almost asleep because there before him he viewed this gigantic thing that was bigger than a football field and transparent (you could see thru this being) it was in flowing garments, had 2 wings and over the camp it had what looked like 2 gigantic swords crossed over each other.” One of the men in Dad’s group shouted “WOW it’s Michael! He is here to protect us! An Angel!” Then the Marine replied “Yea, that’s it an Angel! We used to put one up on our Christmas tree”. The Marine then sat down for the 1st time with the group and he asked them to share their feelings about God and what an angel really is. My Dad said the Marine broke down and he asked if he could be part of their group because he now understood where they were coming from. He then accepted Jesus as his savior.
Dad told me the following day this Marine was killed in the line of action and he believed this showed him proof how God uses his messengers thru us and they are around us all the time.
1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation