Today’s Scripture: But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? John 12:37–38

Every eye fixed upon two naval officers as they entered the mission church in Calcutta during World War II. The uniformed men marched to the vacant seats in the front row and sat through the service.

When the invitation was given, the two offi­cers instantly knelt on the ground and prayed, accepting Christ as their Savior. When given an opportunity, the senior officer shared his testimony: “Friends, I am the commander of a vessel which has just reached Calcutta. One of our sailors whom we call ‘Buddy’ is a Chris­tian. He never hesitates to talk to officers or men about Christ. And he spends much time praying for their salvation. We used to think him crazy….”

Their minds changed about Buddy after one harrowing, near-death experience. In the middle of a dangerous classified mission, Buddy approached the commander. Buddy told him that as he was in prayer, God had revealed that a Japanese bomber was going to attack and destroy their ship. This burdened his heart because he knew the crew was unsaved. As he continued praying, he sensed God saying that He would keep them safe — but only if the captain stopped the ship.

Shortly afterward, the crew spotted a Japanese bomber approaching them. The captain immediately ordered the vessel’s engines to stop. He recounted, “The ship had hardly ceased moving when out of nowhere a mist began to gather and an im­penetrable fog surrounded us….”

The enemy plane passed directly over the ship and then disappeared toward the west. When the sound of the plane could no longer be heard, the cloud lifted. After the miracle, the captain and his fellow-officer promised that if God brought them safely to land, they would go directly to a church and put their trust in Christ. That was why they had come, and that is what they had done.

Which was a greater miracle — God sparing that ship from the enemy, or saving the souls of the officers? Buddy knew the answer because he understood salvation — but what about you? Have you experienced the miracle of salvation?

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.