In the dark days at the beginning of World War II, the Nazi armies and air corp steamrolled over Europe. About 400,000 British troops were pushed back against the English Channel at Dunkirk, dramatized in a recent film, “Dunkirk,” by famed director, Christopher Nolan. I believe that God uniquely and sovereignly worked to evacuate that army.
The Lord used the skill and courage of a few British pilots to fight the Luftwaffe, which viewed the Brits on the beach as “sitting ducks.” The supplication of English believers was vital as they prayed: “O Lord, come quickly to our aid” (Psalm 22:19). God also strongly influenced the weather to limit the German planes. The sinful reasoning of Hitler caused him on May 24 to stop his panzers short of Dunkirk for two days. This allowed time for the English to organize with courageous service a flotilla of hundreds of small boats to sail across the English Channel and rescue the troops. On May 26, when Hitler finally gave the order to attack, he faced only the remaining French soldiers. The Lord certainly “turns the king’s heart” (Proverbs 21:1).
Many of us feel like we are “between the devil and the deep blue sea,” as the saying goes. Moses and the people of Israel certainly felt that way with Egyptian chariots approaching on one side and the impassable Red Sea on the other. They were “between Migdol and the sea” and “feared greatly but cried out to the Lord” (Exodus 14:2, 10). The Lord not only “shielded them by a cloud and darkness from the enemy, but also divided the sea, overthrew the Egyptian army and “saved Israel that day” (Exodus 14:30).
In our church, we also find ourselves from time-to-time in a Dunkirk dilemma. Summers are uniquely challenging, but due to various factors, we are particularly facing some financial challenges. For instance, because of new concussion standards for high school football fields of astroturf, we have had to completely replace our costly field. Also, we ended the school year significantly short for Friends of the Lion scholarships. This potentially reduces the number of students who can attend. We immediately need generous help in this area, but not at the expense of our General Operating budget, which is also strained by summer absences and increased ministries.
Of course, we praise God for how He is working in so many areas. New families are attending; the greatest gains in our children and student ministry have been achieved; a sweet spirit of unity prevails. However, I adhere to the motto of famous missionary, Hudson Taylor, “Trust God and tell the people.”