Friday, June 06, 2014

D-Day Devotion: Overlord

Genesis 17:8   The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."

Today is the 70th anniversary of the commencement of ‘Operation Overlord,’ otherwise known as the Battle of Normandy which included ‘Operation Neptune,’ or the D-Day landings. Over 12,000 allied planes were involved in the battle, along with 7000 vessels. Initially over 160,000 American, British, and Canadian troops assaulted the beaches and fought valiantly in order to secure the coastline. By the end of Operation Overlord, the Allied Forces incurred almost 250,000 casualties but also managed to inflict 400,000 casualties on the Nazi troops. Within a month, 1.3 million Allied troops of many nations had landed on French soil and the Liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation earnestly began.

When I look at old newsreels of the young men wading through bloody waters and trying to get past enemy fire, I wonder what they must have been thinking and feeling. Most of them were aliens in a foreign land, fighting and dying on strange shores, giving up everything so that the whole world could have peace. Those who survived do not readily speak of those horrifying days. They must have seen, heard, and experienced terrifying times. They put their lives on the line for foreign people and for generations that were still to be born. In my book, they are the greatest heroes who ever fought and died for all of the freedoms that I experience today.

God’s ancient promise to Abraham was also fulfilled on D-Day and throughout the year of battles that took place after that historic and monumental event. The Jewish people, without European Liberation, would have been remorselessly and totally eradicated by the Nazis. God could not and would not allow that, which is why I believe the Hand of God was also evident in the Battle of Normandy.

Today, let’s give thanks to God for our freedoms, but also let’s take time to pray for and thank those veterans among us who, as young men and women, put their lives on the line for the entire world.

Prayer:            Lord God, we praise You for the success of Operation Overlord and we remember the price of our freedom. We honor those who gave up everything, so that we may retain our civil rights and human liberties. Bless those veterans who are still with us. Comfort them as they recall within their hearts and minds the hell that they experienced in battle in order to win freedom for the Earth. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to

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