To Our Boys in Service

Sept. 30, 1943

Dear Fellows:

As I was taking my daily walk this afternoon on this beautiful September day, I could not but be deeply impressed by the sharp and striking contrast between God’s world, even on this earth that bears the curse, and the world of men! It was an exceptionally splendid morning, and everything in nature seemed to breathe peace and tranquility and joy. The air was balmy, the temperature about seventy, the atmosphere was quiet, and the woods stood garbed in their rich and colorful fall garment of soft yellow, deep red, pink, rose color, and brown. Surely, the heavens declared the glory of God, and all things witnessed of His power and wisdom. And, as I was taking in the beauty and tranquility of the scene, somehow my thoughts wandered far away, to the battlefields of the present world, with their din of war, their wrath and fury, their destruction and death, their cries of agony, prayers and curses; to distant cities in constant fear and dread of approaching armadas, that will rain destruction upon them indiscriminately; and to our own boys, many of whom now are no longer in our own country, in the South Pacific, in Australia, on the high seas, in Europe and in Africa. And the tremendous contrast between the tranquil scene about me, the peace of God’s world, and the confusion and tumult of that distant world of my thoughts, overwhelmed me for a moment.

What a grim thing war is!

Terrible if we think of all the fury and madness it represents, of all the destruction and suffering, sorrow and agony it causes. But more dreadful still it becomes, if we contemplate that even upon the scenes of destruction God does not cease to cause His sun to shine upon the righteous and the unrighteous, and supplies men with the means and power to make and to use their instruments of destruction! Must not an ungodly world tremble at the thought of this mysterious, silent, invisible God, Who fulfills His counsel even through the ungodliness of the wicked? ….

And yet, faith in that God, as the God of our salvation. Who doeth all things according to the counsel of His own will, is for them that trust in Him the source of a peace that far transcends the tranquility and restfulness instilled into my soul this morning by the beauty of God’s world all about me, the peace that passes all understanding, and that is victorious over all things, so that it cannot be disturbed even by the din of battle, because it is certainty that all things work together for good to them that love God!

Fellows, may that faith be yours, and may that peace keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!

As ever yours in the Lord,

Rev. H. Hoeksema