As a young Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, my very first duty station out of basic and MOS school was with 3rd Recon out of Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan.
We were assigned to something called ACB or Air Contingency Battalion, which means we were the first ones out in any major hotspot at the time.
Most of the time when we were called out, we spent hours sleeping on our duffel bags on the airport tarmac. But on rare occasions, we actually got on a plane or a chopper and if they issued us real ammo, we knew we were in for it.
At the time, we had a grungy old Gunnery Sargent named Gunnery Sargent Hawkins. Gunny Hawkins was a Christian with a deep faith and we’d be out in formation every morning at the crack of dawn for our daily run and swim.
And each morning before we went out, we had to recite The Rifleman’s Creed and the 91st Psalm (yea, he was on his OFP)
Now on one of our many adventures in the ACB, Gunny was shot in the leg, but he had his small pocket Bible in his cargo pocket and it stopped most of the bullet (true story). And us boys all thought it was pretty remarkable that Gunny god (what we called him, but not to his face) had gotten so lucky, especially in that incident.
But then, when on another mission, he dodged a bullet that hit his canteen and you better believe that we started to recite our 91st with a bit more enthusiasm every day.
Now I still recite the 91st Psalm to this day and I do feel it helps if you would like to try it.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.
For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.
2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
In my days in the Corps, pretty much all I was interested in doing was in getting drunk and chasing tail. I’ve been through and seen a lot in this life since then and I will be eternally grateful to ‘Gunny god’ for the seeds that he planted that I’m sure eventually led me to become a Christian.