I Can’t Believe That Worked

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

Have you ever tried something so ridiculous that it seemed to have no chance of success, only to see it succeed better than you thought possible?

In 1943, at the height of the Second World War, the destroyer USS O’Bannon was escorting a supply convoy. Members of the kitchen crew were peeling potatoes on deck, getting some much-needed sun, when a Japanese submarine surfaced nearby. The O’Bannon immediately took action, but in short order the submarine had maneuvered so close to the American ship that the crew could not angle their guns low enough to hit the sub. However, because it sat low in the water, the Japanese submarine had no problem hitting them.

Had this happened to a battleship or cruiser, it would not have been an issue, as such a vessel could have easily shrugged off the damage as it worked to get into a good firing position to sink the sub. However, Fletcher-class destroyers were often referred to by US servicemen as “tin cans.” Although they were fast and well-armed, they had very little armor, and it didn’t take much damage before the crew was forced to take an unscheduled group swim. The O’Bannon simply couldn’t afford to take fire from the enemy without having a chance to reply. They were in real trouble.

In what was probably an act of pure desperation, the sailors began throwing the potatoes at the Japanese gun crew. Physically, this had no effect, but the psychological effect was tremendous. The Japanese mistook the potatoes for grenades, scattered, and by the time they figured out that the “grenades” were in fact harmless potatoes, the O’Bannon had managed to gain enough distance to acquire a firing solution and sink the Japanese sub.

Sometimes God intentionally has us do things that seem ridiculous to us. He told the Israelites march around Jericho repeatedly, but in the end the walls fell. He told the disciples to cast on the other side of the boat at the end of an unsuccessful night, but the result was a catch the likes of which they had never seen. He sent David to fight a giant with a stick and a few rocks, but when it was over, the giant lay dead and the Philistine army was utterly defeated. Perhaps He also quietly told a few sailors to throw potatoes at the enemy in order to save their vessel.

God’s ways are not our ways. His will is not intended to make sense to us. We aren’t capable of comprehending His plans in the first place. Christ didn’t call us to understanding, which is a gift that He hands out sparingly. Instead, He calls us to faith, which He gives to all of us in abundance. Oftentimes it is not our place to know and understand. Instead, it is simply our place to believe and obey.

In doing so, we gain a peace that passes all understanding.

Stephen Nichols

Director of Communications


Will Comes To Visit

Several of our alumni have been back home to visit us this month, including Will, who stopped by recently to join us for dinner and give some words of encouragement to our young men. After graduating the program in 2019, Will was baptized in the PAYH pool. Now, he’s working full time, staying on track, and we couldn’t be more proud of him!

Onion Run 2021

Just as they did in the Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race this past March, the PAYH young men represented us well at the Vidalia Onion Run this year. Four of them earned medals. Branden was first in his age group, while Ben and Drake both placed 2nd in theirs. Anthony, placed 2nd overall. Congratulations to these young men!

Spring Board Meeting 2021

Last month the PAYH board met to discuss the future of the Paul Anderson Youth Home and plans for the upcoming 60th anniversary. At lunch, they took a moment to pose for a picture.

As we celebrate 60 years of operation and look to impact the lives of more young men, we are asking everyone to keep an open ear and open heart to spread the word about the Paul Anderson Youth Home and connect us with the families of young men who are struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger, and depression. Through our spiritual counseling, character development, and accelerated learning program, we share Christ with these young men. He is the one who transforms their lives for eternity.

Stay Updated

Sign up for our monthly newsletter and weekly devotional

Share This!

Recent Posts