The Spiritual Lessons of D-Day

Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment, US 1st Infantry Division wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944
Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment, US 1st Infantry Division wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944

by Wallace Henley

The wind blasted Omaha Beach that day in 1995.

It pierced my body with stinging cold as I walked among the 9,300 graves containing the remains of American soldiers who had died under the torrent of Nazi guns on June 6, 1944.

Suddenly, I began to weep, almost inconsolably.

The vast sweep of crosses and Stars of David marking the graves was enough to bring tears to the most cynical. But this was grieving of a different sort.

Twenty years later, I co-authored a book with Jonathan Sandys, the great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. “I want to write about ‘Churchill and God,'” Jonathan told me.

A persistent theme emerged as we researched—Churchill’s belief in providential history.

Churchill was not a committed churchman—he said that though he was not a “pillar of the Church,” he was a “flying buttress.” Yet he had a solid faith in God, nurtured by Elizabeth Everest, his devout Christian nanny, that carried him through a harried youth and the Second World War as Britain’s prime minister.

At sixteen, Churchill uttered an amazing “prophecy” to one of his schoolmates: “I can see vast changes coming over a now peaceful world; great upheavals, terrible struggles; wars such as one cannot imagine; and I tell you London will be in danger – London will be attacked and I shall be very prominent in the defence of London.” And so it happened when Churchill became prime minister on May 10, 1940, just weeks before the Battle of Britain.

Churchill’s understanding of providential history meant that God directs history’s course to His ultimate purposes.

Thus, I was not surprised that afternoon in 1995 midst the graves of Omaha Beach when I began to sense spiritual truths that changed my understanding of the Church and our Kingdom mission.

The D-Day invasion, I realized, was a parable of the advance of God’s Kingdom in the world occupied by the adversary and his demonic hordes. The aim of the powers of darkness is the exact opposite of everything for which the Kingdom of God stands. Instead of righteousness-justice, the enemy of God and His creation seeks evil and injustice. Rather than peace, the dark rulers incite conflict. In the place of Holy Spirit-given joy, the forces of the evil one seek every opportunity to bring hellish misery. (See Romans 14:17)

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SOURCE: Christian Post