September 25, 2018

Operation Dynamo

It was a time in history that brings chills to our spines and a knot to our stomachs even today. There was a madman on the loose and his name was Adolph Hitler. His army was large, well trained, and desperate for victory. Steamrolling a path through Europe, it looked as if nothing could stop them. Having already advanced through and defeated Poland, on May 12 Hitler ordered the invasion of Belgium, Holland and France. On the Allied side, the British Expeditionary force, England’s premier strike unit is sent in, but they are absolutely no match for the Germans. In a stunning move of strategy, Hitler’s army shot right through the enemy’s fire-line, creating a 50-mile wide gap right down the middle. 

Within two weeks of the initial attack, all the Allied forces are forced to retreat and pushed against the sea, most of them were in and around a town called Dunkirk. Winston Churchill, while trying to keep the spirits up back home, said the prognosis had been gloomy, and warned the House of Commons to expect "hard and heavy tidings." In the same speech, Churchill said that "the whole root and core and brain of the British Army" had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to perish or become prisoners of war. Due to wartime censorship and the desire to keep up the morale of the nation, the full extent of the unfolding "disaster" around Dunkirk was not publicized. The British had to do something and so, “Operation Dynamo” was begun. 

So here was the plan. Round up all the privately owned boats available. Only two requirements: they must be able to float and to make it across the English Channel. They would send the little boats into the shallow water next to shore, load the soldiers and bring them out to the bigger boats where they could sail across to safety. 

But there were two major problems with this plan. One was that the English Channel is known for rough waters. Many of the little ships would probably never make it across. Secondly, the ships will be basically defenseless, easily seen and easy targets for the enemy. Enter the real “operation dynamo” — the only thing that could possibly work — a call to prayer. The grave plight of the doomed troops led King George VI to call for an unprecedented week of prayer. 

Beginning with a time of fasting and prayer, the King the whole country to go to their knees to ask the living God, the Creator of heaven and earth to intervene. And so, on May 26t, 1940 the country fasted and prayed asking God to do a miracle. 

For nearly all of the next week, a fog covered the English Channel and screened the thousands of boats from the enemy aircraft overhead and the little boats experienced the calmest waters known in years, as they safely evacuated the nearly 335,000 troops from Dunkirk. 

Time and time again God’s “operation dynamo” of fasting and prayer has proved pivotal in people’s lives and in the shaping of nations.  It is real. It is active today. The only question is, “Are you ready to put “operation dynamo” to work in your life?”