John 3:16 – God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.
When we try to relate the "world" in John 3:16 to the "world" in World War II we find two things. While God shows equal love and concern for all individuals on both sides of the conflict, he did, however, support the allies in critical situations as the miraculous escape from Dunkerque and the Battle of Britain. Here is an example of each situation; actions that could only come from God.
In the book Angels, God's Secret Agents, Billy Graham passes on this story from Air Chief Marshall Lord Hugh Dowding. Dowding tells how airmen on a mission who, having been hit, were either incapacitated or dead, yet their planes kept flying and fighting. On some occasions pilots in other planes would see a figure still operating the controls. What was the explanation? Air Marshall Dowding believed that angels had actually flown some of the planes whose pilots sat dead in the cockpits. Only God controls angels.
In her book When Angels Appear, Hope MacDonald, a Presbyterian writer, has a story of God's care for an individual in war time. During World War 2, George was a Navigator on a B 24-Bomber called The Liberator. On one particular mission, his plane was flying over central Europe. As they approached the area to be bombed, he felt a strong hand on his shoulder and heard a voice saying to him, "Get up and go to the back of the plane." In the moments he was back there, a limited antiaircraft firing took place over the target area. When George returned to the front of the plane, he noticed that a shell three inches in diameter had blown a hole in the ceiling of the plane right through his Navigator's seat.
To this day George is confident that God sent an angel to deliver him from certain death and as a result he has remained conscious of God's hand on his life through the years. It has greatly added to his faith and trust in Him.
Prayer: O God our Father, we confess that for many of us angel stories in today's world are strange and new. At the same time we know that angel stories were fairly frequent in the Bible and in the earlier days of your Church. We thank you for stories of angels today and especially for the faith that your give us in guardian angels. May your Spirit lead us into the truth of how you use angels in the care and protection for your people. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.