I’ve enjoyed diving deep into the story of Job this past week. What an amazing man he was! I desire to have that kind of rock-hard faith in Jesus Christ that he had. It’s the kind of faith that allowed him to say to his so-called friends, “I don’t care if you are telling me to curse God and die, I am going to keep living, keep having faith in my Redeemer Jesus Christ, despite all these bad things that have happened to me. Though I may eventually die naturally and have my body be eaten by the worms of the earth, someday my spirit will be reunited with my body, and I will see my Redeemer face to face!” That’s basically what Job was saying in Job 19.
Because I love Job’s story so much, I’m sharing here some video commentaries about his story. Providentially, this past week as I was studying Job, I found this story in Gospel Library of someone with this same Job-like faith. It’s a true story involving a man named John Flade. It’s called “The Lord Was Always There.” John was raised by parents who believed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His parents got baptized into the Church in 1925, the year before John was born, in Germany. John ended up being drafted into the German army and fought on Hitler ‘s side at the tender age of 18. Before he left home to fight in the war, his father gave him a father’s blessing promising him that he would return home.
This promise in his father’s blessing gave John tremendous assurance and comfort. Even though he was captured by some Canadians during trench warfare, he was not shot at and killed, when they easily could have done that. Sadly, his 16-year-old comrade died during a grenade explosion that happened in the trench they were living in. The grenade injured John’s leg. After the grenade explosion, when John was trying to find help for his leg, walking through a forest, the Canadians found him. He was taken prisoner by the Canadians and taken to England.
As a POW in England, God brought John to meet a Jew in England who turned out to be a friend of John’s father’s. The Jew recognized John’s last name and asked to interview John. So because of that interview John learned that this Jew was his father’s friend. John’s father, Hans, helped the Jewish man escape from the Gestapo and get into Switzerland. From there, the man was able to return to his native England. After confirming that John was the son of Hans, the Jewish man helped John to get into a prison camp in America, in Texas.
John wrote that even though it was a prison camp, it was a nice one. He had good food, comfortable living conditions (so I imagine that means he could sleep peacefully on a soft, warm bed), and the work was not unpleasant. He ended up being there for three years! At first, his family back in Germany was told that he was MIA. His father Hans responded by saying, like Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
As John writes in the story, saying such a declaration takes more than faith, it takes knowledge. This is the knowledge that starts out as faith but turns into knowledge because of the power of the Holy Spirit.
This story has a happy love story ending, even though Hans, John’s father, died on the last day of the war. John’s family found out he was not MIA, and John was released from prison. My favorite part of the story was the gift that John’s father gaveto John before he was killed, which was to help arrange the marriage of John to his teenage sweetheart. You can read the rest of it here.