When I was 10 or 11, I joined with four of my buddies to go hunting. We all had .22 gauge rifles of which most of us did not own.  I “borrowed” my brother’s weapon while he was in the army serving our country during World War II. I was sure he wouldn’t mind.

Remember, this was around 1940… things were very different then.

We spread out through the forest and searched for hours looking for small game. After the long trek, we rejoined and shared our frustration. “Not even a squirrel or a rabbit,” someone groaned.  I was disappointed too. “What can we do now?” I wondered.

After a some time of grumbling, I had an idea. A while ago, a hunter had shared with me the basics of handling a rifle, Army style. I thought, “Hmm, maybe I could teach these guys something about handling a rifle.” The truth was I had unknowingly created a perilous situation for both my friends and myself.

I gave a short explanation of what we could do. The war was ever present in all our lives, and to practice military drills seemed the thing to do. They all began by lining up with their rifles and responded to basic military commands I would shout at them, such as “Attention!”

All was going well until I shouted the command, “Present Arms!” No sooner had the words left my lips that a gun was fired and a bullet tore through my hair. One friend looked at me terrified and the rest all shouted “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”

Again, God was watching and His protection surrounded my friends and me. Imagine had it been a different ending. He saved my life again!

– Wesley Peterson

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