In his Looking On the Heart expositions from 1 Samuel, Dale Ralph Davis relays the story of a B-17 bombing run over a German city during World War II. As one plane approached the city, it was struck by Nazi antiaircraft flak. The flak hit the bomber’s gas tanks, which should have resulted in the explosion of the tanks and the plane. But no explosion followed. It seemed to be a miracle.
The morning after the raid the pilot went to the crew chief and asked for the shell that had hit the gas tank. The pilot wanted it for a souvenir. The crew chief responded, “Which shell? There were eleven unexploded shells in the gas tank!”
The crew chief then explained that the eleven shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. From there Military Intelligence had gotten involved. And why had Military Intelligence gotten involved? It was because ten of the shells were empty, containing no explosive charges, and the other shell contained only a rolled-up note, written in Czech.
To say that everyone was curious about what that little note said would be an understatement, and so Military Intelligence set themselves to the task of locating someone who could read Czech. Fortunately, they found someone on base who could do so. The note read: “This is all we can do for you now.”
The explanation was obvious. Somewhere under the reign of Nazi Germany, some Czechoslovakians had been forced against their will to work in a munitions plant for the German war effort. These Czechs did not believe in Hitler’s cause, but they weren’t bold enough, strong enough, or organized enough to attempt something radical such as blowing up the plant or assassinating Hitler. So, instead, they simply didn’t put charges in some of the shells they produced.
Davis applies this story by saying the following:
Such is frequently God’s way for his people. Not all his work is noisy or dramatic. We may be tempted to conclude he has abandoned us because we haven’t ears to hear the silent manner of God’s work.
I agree with him that God oftentimes works in a “silent manner” to get His plans accomplished. Christian, you need to remember this whenever you feel that God has ignored your plight and turned a deaf ear to your prayers. No, He hasn’t. It’s just that you can’t see the work He’s been doing for you. But it’s there, and one day (perhaps soon, even very soon) you will be able to see the end result of it all.