After intense fighting against the Japanese on Okinawa during World War II, a Marine got separated from his unit amid the explosions, smoke, and chaos of battle.
He was alone in the hills in dangerous enemy territory. The sun was setting, and the stranded Marine heard the approach of Japanese soldiers so he took refuge in one of the many caves on the ridge.
It was no use. As the minutes passed, he realized the Japanese were searching methodically cave by cave for any American soldiers. With grim resignation, he realized his own death was imminent and inevitable. It was only a matter of time before the enemy would approach his cave and find him in the recesses.
“Lord, if it be your will, please protect me,” he prayed, as narrated on a website by Father Hugh Duffy. “Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen.”
As he prayed, he observed a spider building a web over the crawl space of an entrance to the cave. He scoffed on the inside.
“Ha! What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web,” the anonymous Marine thought. “Well, I guess the Lord isn’t going to help me out of this one.”
He remained extremely still and quiet as he listened. The enemy was getting closer. He readied himself to make a last stand.
But to his surprise, the Japanese soldiers passed by his cave and didn’t search its interior.
Then he realized what had happened and rejoiced in glee. The spider’s web was a sign to the Japanese soldiers that no one had entered the cave. A man entering the cave would have cleared away the web with his body. It didn’t occur to the enemy that the web was weaved after the Marine entered the cave.
“Lord, forgive me,” prayed the young man, chuckling at his earlier assumption that God wouldn’t defend him. “I had forgotten that in You a spider’s web is as strong as a brick wall!”
He remained hidden in the cave until the area was clear and he could find and rejoin his fellow Americans.
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Sarah Montez studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica.