The earth shook as another round of explosions sought to hold them back. That, however, wasn’t about to happen. They were Marines. Unfortunately, even if they had wanted to turn back, leaving was no longer an option. The naval ship that had dropped them off had pulled away due to a surprise attack from seven Japanese warships. The result, the Marines were stranded and without their supplies.
The year was 1942 and the place, Guadalcanal. My father-in-law, Fernando Floyd, was one of those brave soldiers that miraculously lived to tell the story. With four U.S. and allied ships already sunk, and no immediate backups in sight, just surviving their landing seemed impossible.
“We were totally cut off,” Fernando had told us. “Our food and ammunition were all but gone. Honestly, it seemed that we were going to die. And, that’s when it happened. I’ll never forget it,” Fernando continued.
While covered in the dark of night, we heard another set of Japanese warplanes flying overhead. As we all dug in, preparing for the hellish explosions that always followed, for some reason, this time, nothing happened. All we heard was large thuds as big objects hit the ground all around us. It wasn’t until the morning that we discovered what they were.”
There, lying among the thick vegetation, like manna from heaven, were packages of rice dropped by the Japanese. Somehow, they thought they were dropping supplies to their own troops but instead ended up feeding us. The miraculous provision lifted our spirits and carried us through until reinforcements could come. It was an answer to many prayers,” Fernando told us.
Actually, looking back, the occurrence is not as unusual as one might think. All throughout our country’s history, there are signs of divine interventions that have not only established us, but also kept us from certain destruction. From the first pilgrims being helped by the Indians, to the fog that cloaked George Washington and his ragtag militia as they crossed the Delaware, it seems plain to me that we all have a lot to be thankful for.
I know, it’s easy to look around and see all the things that are wrong with our country, but come on let’s admit it, we are really blessed. By the time you get this article, most of you are probably still eating leftover turkey and enjoying a long weekend with your families. And, even if you are not, I can assure you, you are a lot better off than most of the people in the rest of the world.
Whether you are reading this article from a jail cell or a hospital bed, the bottom line is this. You have a lot to be thankful for too. Take my word for it. I’ve been in both jail cells and hospitals overseas, and I can assure you, that in most cases, seeing what they have would make you want to bow down and kiss the ground beneath your feet.
Suffice to say, as we all slow down to celebrate this Thanksgiving season, let’s not forget where we’ve come from, and who it is that has brought us this far.
Like my father-in-law, Fernando Floyd and all those Marines who ate the rice that fell from heaven that day, let’s be sure that before we open our refrigerators and grab one more plate of leftovers, that we stop and give thanks to the God that has made it all possible.