Gladys Aylward's Thoughts
|photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com|
I'd prayed for an escape idea from God. Actually, my real prayer request asked Him to end the battle and send the two armies away.
God had a different idea. He showed the only solution: creep behind the Japanese fighters to the field beyond them. I supposed it wouldn't have made any difference if one soldier saw me and killed me in my escape or if one discovered me hiding behind the gravestone and shot me. Either way I would have been dead. I decided to follow God's idea.
I glanced around the corner again. The blasts from bullets and explosions would cover up any sound I'd make and the Japanese soldiers kept an eagle watch on their their enemy. They wouldn't notice me if I sneaked behind their feet, maybe.
I held my breath and crouched. The war sounds grew louder. Go now, Gladys. I sprang from my hiding place and ran between the Japanese soldiers and the edge of the mountain, all the way to the field and hid in the two foot tall wheat plants.
The roar of the battle softened as I caught my breath, When the noise grew too loud to bear, I crawled through the field, keeping low under the tops of the grain. I had to keep moving as far away from my home as possible. No time for sorrow. I had to get away from enemy lines.
A narrow edge bordered the edge of the mountain on the other side of the field. I followed it to the main trail leading west where my friends waited for me in a tiny village called Ben Chai Chuang. The trail wove down the mountain to the bottom of the gorge where I stepped onto the dry river bottom. In the summer time the river flowed freely over the path.
I walked a distance until the sun left little light. The trail forked with one path leading up and the other continuing along the river bed. I didn't know which to chose. I prayed, "Dear Lord, let me know the safe way to travel."
Since God didn't typically send messages on a wall, as he did for the prophet Daniel, I asked for a sign, like Gideon had. I stood in the middle of the two paths and said, "Lord, let me face the correct path." I twirled around and around like a little girl learning ballet then stopped and opened my eyes. My feet touched the upper path.
With few rays of light left, I hurried up the path to a ledge high above the riverbed and rested. Voices from beneath me caught my attention. I curled down close to the ground, pulled myself close to the edge, and squinted to see through the darkness below. Several units of Japanese soldiers marched along the very path I didn't take!
I laid my head on the ground, heaved a sign of relief, and gazed at the starry sky. "Thank you, God. Thank you for protecting me."
Come back next week to read what happened next.