Please take a moment to read this powerful story from my friend and pastor Jeremy Wilson. As he notes, God’s timing is perfect…
God’s timing is perfect.
On December 15, 2003 my unit patrolled the Orgun-e Province near Kandahar. Unexpectedly, a squad of enemy combatants ambushed our unit. The 50. Caliber machine gun atop our armor-protected Humvee jammed. We quickly evacuated the vehicle to take cover in the surrounding icy terrain. While exiting, I slipped on a patch of ice and fell on my backpack. My body extended like an upside down turtle, fully open to enemy fire.
What took place next unfolded in slow motion. Ice sprayed from the ground, dampening my hands and face. Bullets struck around the outline of my body, even piercing through my collar. I distinctly remember thinking, God, please don’t let me die.
The next thing I remember were the words, “Gun up!” Gunfire echoed from above our vehicle, sending our attackers into hiding. Under our gunner’s cover, the unit’s artillery began to bombard the mountainside, taking the advantage in the battle. Soon, silence took over. No gunshots. No screams. As the unit’s medic, I quickly assessed the platoon. Only one injury took place—a gunshot wound to the upper arm of one of my brothers. He would survive. But I would never forget coming face to face with my own death.
In Spring 2004 our unit returned home. After a week of debriefing, I took a long anticipated flight to be with my family in Birmingham, Alabama. To appease my parents, the first Sunday back I occupied a pew of the church where we’d been long-time members. At some point between the offering and the special music, a deacon stood and said, “Pastor, I have something I must say.”
In front of the entire congregation of more than three hundred people, he looked at me. “Jeremy, one night near Christmas God woke me up and told me to pray for you.” I nodded my head and lipped a sincere “Thank you” to the man.
But he wasn’t done. “I spent from midnight until dawn in prayer for you.” Tears filled his eyes. I knew he was not exaggerating. “I don’t think God sent you there to end your life, but to save it. I’m blessed to see you here today.”
After the service I asked him if he remembered which day this strange revelation hit him. He didn’t remember exactly, but insisted on having me over for lunch, claiming he kept a prayer journal we could reference. As we found the prayer journal, it read: “December 15th, 2003 at 12:05 a.m.” It read that he woke up burdened with anguish, a vision of my face, and God leading him to pray on my behalf. According to my combat journal, it was about 10:30 in the morning when we were initially ambushed. Comparing time zones, local time in Afghanistan is ten and a half hours ahead of Central Standard Time. He awoke to pray during our ambush.
God’s timing is perfect.
Jeremy Wilson is an American military veteran who served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. After his return, he committed his life to helping others and now serves as the pastor of a local church near his hometown. Contact him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Jeremywilson4.
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