Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wrong Place at the Right Time

Ever get upset when your carefully laid plans don't go the way you intended? Here's a true story from World War II that I discovered in a musty little book. The author is Captain Alvin Carlson, who served as chaplain to the 134th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Division in Europe. He says:

Chaplain (Captain) Alvin Carlson
"One Sunday evening about sundown I had gathered with a large group of replacements (later called reinforcements) in our marshaling area, which was approximately six miles from the front lines. We had assembled in an orchard well protected by apple trees and other foliage. The service of worship was in progress when, without warning, "Bed-check Charlie" started to strafe and hurl bombs at us. One of the men, detecting the first plane, shouted, "Enemy planes!" and we ran for the foxholes. A short time before this I had dug a special foxhole which I could use when I remained in the area overnight, but I could not reach it. I jumped into another hole which was near. Suddenly someone shouted, "They got the chaplain." I rushed out of my foxhole and shouted, "No, here I am!" A bomb had fallen in my hole--but no one was in it. Later I heard several of the men remark, "God is truly revealing Himself to us in these days."

Friend, you may lay your plans, and those plans might work out as you hope, and they might not. But for those who love the Lord, even the wrong place--the unplanned place--can be the right place to be!

Source: He Is Able, by Chaplain Alvin O. Carlson (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1945), pp. 35-36.


  1. Rick, Thanks for sharing this story, which brings to mind a recent lesson that I had for our junior high group at church. My point to the kids is that “God doesn’t do Random”. I used 2 Chronicles 18 and how what appeared to be a random arrow shot to us, but to God it followed his plan and path.

  2. Russ, thanks for stopping by to share. I appreciate your input, which others will enjoy also.

    Another thought: When good events like this happen, people are often quick to credit "dumb luck" for acts that God orchestrates behind the scenes. Happy is the person who can detect God's hand in daily events.