There is a group of people termed “The Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokaw. This group includes my parents and probably your grandparents. They went through the Great Depression, and then World War II. Now it all looks so simple, so pre-ordained, but at the time victory over Germany and Japan was not assured.

I believe that if we were cognizant of the protection of the Lord’s angels in our daily lives we would be astounded. I would like to tell you about the Lord’s protection over a friend of mine, a Brother-in-Christ, and a member of The Greatest Generation.

My friend, John, was a pilot in Europe during World War II. He was blessed to pilot the great Mustang fighter, perhaps the hottest propellor-driven plane built. Before jet propulsion, Mustangs were breaking the sound barrier while in dives.

Returning from a mission over Western Europe, John ran out of fuel over France. He rehearsed the training he received on how to bail out of the airplane. First, he had trouble getting the canopy to release and jettison. There were no ejection seats then. Once the canopy was off, he was to get out of the cockpit by throwing one leg over the edge and the climbing out. When he got one leg outside the plane, the pressure of the wind pressed it to the fuselage. Finally, he was able to get entirely out of the cockpit.

The next step was to let go of the plane and open the parachute. As John cleared the Mustang, the rear stabilizer smashed his knee. Landing in a World War II parachute was tricky at best. Many men have broken legs when they struck the ground. Now John only had one good leg. It was very probable that his remaining good leg would be broken upon impact with the ground.

But the Lord had a plan. John landed in a small French village. In fact, his parachute snagged on a telephone pole placed on the side of a building. John’s body slammed against the building, but he did not injure his good leg.

The villagers got him down and took him to a local hospital. At the hospital, the doctor was able to move the leg with the smashed knee in all directions. The knee did not function. The doctor spoke no English and John spoke no French. As they administered the anesthetic, he wondered if he would even have that leg when he awoke.

John awoke with both legs. After fifty years, in the 1990's, he got a replacement knee. John is still with us today and still walks about on the leg the Lord saved. Although not as mobile today, John was active in his church and sang in a gospel quartet. And he is a testimony to the wonderful watch care of our Heavenly Father. May His name be praised always.

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