It had been many years since I'd seen the 1969 movie, The Battle of Britain. A ‘who's who' of British actors (and Canada's Christopher Plummer) play the roles of the heroic "few" whom Winston Churchill lauded in his speech on August 20, 1940, expressing the nation's gratitude:
"…to the British airmen, who undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
Most of continental Europe had fallen to the Nazis and Hitler was preparing to launch a full-scale invasion of Great Britain. British fighters had been crossing the channel to help France stem the tide. Before "the Air Battle for England" begins, Laurence Olivier (as Hugh Dowding), sends a letter that changed the course of history to the War Cabinet on May 16, 1940, expressing concern about home defense.
It's the signature on the letter that was stirring:
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
H. C. T. Dowding
Air Chief Marshall,
Air Officer Commander-in-Chief,
Fighter Command, Royal Air Force
Screen Capture from The Battle of Britain
In the summer of 1940, the British had 650 planes, the Germans had 2,500 aircraft. Dowding, facing a formidable foe declared that he was "trusting in God and praying for radar." His faith was strong, but there was work to do!
As Christians, we live in a spiritual war zone.
Our enemy, Satan, seems to be unleashing his worst, but our Commander-in-Chief has already defeated him, and death. Jesus has promised to guide us, (Psalm 32:8), provide all that we need (Philippians 4:19), never leaving or forsaking us (Hebrews 13:5), making us "more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37), and rewarding all who overcome! (Revelation 3:21).
I have an adopted grandpa who like so many others, lied about his age in order to serve his country in World War 1. Ed Crane was a teenager in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. My father was a paratrooper in the Second World War. I have a young nephew in the U.S. Navy.
All of these men enlisted with enthusiasm and confidence.
You and I have the honor and privilege of divine guidance, presence and provision, with eternal life assured. Because we can trust the King of kings, no matter how things appear, we will respond to his leading, not just with soldier-like obedience—"Yes, Sir!", but with an appreciative "Thank you Lord!"