Finding God in an Emergency - The Warrior's Journey®

Finding God in an Emergency

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“Such a high priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners exalted above the heavens.  Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.” (Hebrews 7:26-27) 

Episcopal Bishop, Daniel Corrigan was a young submariner in WWI. He often told of a harrowing experience while serving aboard one of the United States’ earliest submarines. Near the Straits of Gibraltar his commander ordered an emergency dive when the submarine became surrounded by German destroyers. Unfortunately, the vessel dove so quickly that the bo of the submarine hit and became stuck in the muddy bottom.  Now the ship’s crew had a bigger problem than the German destroyers.  Neither their oxygen nor their battery power would last much longer and their submarine was trapped at the bottom of the sea.   

They reversed engines. They tried to rock the submarine loose by rushing from one side of the vessel to the other. But nothing worked.  Finally, the youngest member of the crew, Daniel Corrigan, asked if the crew would be willing to pray the Lord’s Prayer. They readily agreed, having exhausted all other options. he commander bowed his head and led the crew in prayer. But while they were still praying, an idea popped into the heads of the crew.  “Use the torpedo tubes for propulsion!”   

Sensing that God had spoken to them, they prayed an additional prayer for success. They removed the torpedoes from the tubes, charged them with pressurized air, and fired them. The submarine was instantly freed. From that experience Corrigan realized the need for faith and spirituality in a crisis. In fact, it taught him that preparation for battle must include fitness for the spirit and soul as well as fitness for the body. It also taught him that the time to prepare for a crisis is not when it’s already upon you – but long before. He’d say, “The best time to prepare for the storms of life is not when we are stuck in the mud at the bottom of the ocean, but long before we step into the boat.” 

How do we find God in the midst of a crisis? Foremost, we must be in a right relationship with God before the crisis ever comes. But if the crisis should happen to catch us unprepared, then remember this. We have a great High Priest in heaven, Jesus Christ, who has already offered the supreme sacrifice for all sin. If we approach God through Him and on the basis of His merits, God will always accept us and hear us.   


  • If we have placed our lives in Jesus’ hands, will we ever face a true emergencies? Isn’t Jesus in control of our circumstances at all times? Doesn’t He only allow storms to come in order to drive us back into His loving arms? 
  • And when we come to God through Jesus, He’ll always receive us. For we never approach God by our own merits, but by the merit of Jesus our great High Priest. 

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