In March of 1992, Captain David Knecht learned he was passed over for promotion to Major. Despite the setback, he determined to press on with his career. Weeks later, on April 8th, he was out on a field exercise conducting a routine night live fire defense. When it ended he looked forward to traveling to Russia for a short gospel mission trip. That night an M2 Bradley platoon was positioned about one kilometer to the right of the spot Dave selected for his Command M113 vehicle. Apparently the platoon leader or his gunner was scanning for targets out of sector to their left because when Dave’s M113 showed up in their thermals sights, “they lit me up with eight 25mm rounds.” One training round glanced off the hatch next to his head and penetrated the soft CVC helmet he was wearing, exploding fragments into his brain and right eye. Dave was flown by two helicopters, a UH-60 Blackhawk and later a CH-47 Chinook to a civilian medical center for emergency brain surgery.
After operating, Dave’s surgeon prayed with Annette (Dave’s wife) in the hospital chapel. Because his death was all but a foregone conclusion, a military lawyer with whom they attended chapel, rushed through a disability retirement so his survivors would receive maximum government benefits. But God had other plans.
1 Corinthians 10:31--Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.
David’s left side is mostly paralyzed, “so I walk with a limp,” and his right eye is blind, but “it is well with my soul.” The man who should be dead or bitter is instead a joyful testimony to the transformation that comes through serving God. Earthly wisdom renders tragedy as senseless. Godly trust discovers meaning even in suffering. Out of loss God builds gain. Consider this. Residing in Florida, Dave and Annette now have ten children. Sarah, the oldest, is one of three daughters already married. Their sixth son, Micah, (the first born after Dave’s accident), at the age of seven was sharing Christ with children in a nearby park. He is a walking evangelist carrying tracts wherever he goes. Glory is the tribute, honor and praise God receives and we experience when we allow His will to find His expression in our lives.
When I asked Annette to describe Dave she said, “He just glows God’s glory!” In evaluating the last twelve years she shared, “The lower we are laid and emptied of ourselves the more God is able to work through us and gain glory.” It’s not easy to suffer, to go lower. But glory is not defined by what is easy or ordinary. You and I will undoubtedly never take a shot to the brain like Dave did. But we will be tested. We will find days when life evokes pain or confusion and God seems distant. Perhaps for you that time is now. If so, Dave has a word he would love to share from Philippians 1:6, “ I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Glory! Something to think about . . . in reveration!
A Christian is one who can live in the midst of the trouble and turmoil with the glory of God indwelling him, while he steadfastly looks not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.—Oswald Chambers in The Message of Invincible Consolation
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)