For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
When I glanced down at the water rushing past our fishing trawler in the wrong direction, I knew something was wrong. I was only 18 years old, and the net my father and I were towing along the bottom of the seabed was caught on something heavy. We put our winch in gear and inch by inch, we heaved the net up with the boat straining at the weight. Our fishing boat, the Why Worry, leaned over as the derrick and mast took the strain of whatever we were lifting off the bottom. When the Cod End of the net came to the surface, there was the largest of the Second World War German magnetic mines. It was 12-foot-long and still in pristine condition, with 1,500 pounds of high explosives. Designed to blow ships completely in half, it was now swinging inches above our deck as the waves made us roll. With a heavy clunk, we rested the mine on deck. Made of stainless steel, it looked as though it had just been placed on the bottom of the seabed.
It had been buried beneath the mud in a very familiar piece of fishing ground, a place we had fished over and over again. The chains at the front of our net must have just caught it perfectly and lifted it into the net. Once we cut the mine from our net, we had to get it over the side again without incident. A delicate task, considering that it was still in such good condition, and could still explode. Fishermen on the east coast of England often hear of such things happening, boats just disappearing and not accounted for. With the whole boat leaning over, we gently lowered the heavy mine back into the sea, carefully cutting through the rope strop to release it from our boat. Then, to our amazement, the 12-foot-long mine stood up in the water, the top part of it still showing! We had not realized how little water was under our boat. We called the Coastguard to come and detonate the mine so that it would not be a danger to any other boats. On the next high tide, they tied it to a long rope, towed it out to deeper water, and blew it up.
Seeing Beyond the Physical Realm
Like trawling a net in waters where two world wars have been fought, there are some things in life that can be unseen, but deadly. Just because you may be unaware of something dangerous, it doesn’t mean it cannot affect you. Electricity in a light plug is unseen, but stick your finger in a live socket, and you will soon realize there are powerful things that are unseen, but dangerous. Natural gas is odorless, but if there is a lot in your house, it can totally destroy your home. So, gas companies added a horrible smell, so that if we have a leak, we’ll smell it. The unexploded mine shed light on the ttruth that even though we had gone over that familiar fishing ground again and again without a problem; there are some things in life that cannot be seen, but still affect our lives in ways we don’t realize.
The Bible is very clear that there is more to this world than we can see with the naked eye. There is a spiritual realm that is just as real as the world we live in; I believe it to be more real than what is seen. The world of flesh and blood, the world we live in, is temporary and passing. It is but a shadow of things to come. There are things unseen happening around us all the time which are of a spiritual nature and have eternal value. The majority of Christians have no room for the supernatural; for the most part, they are oblivious to angelic beings and demonic spirits. How many times do we miss seeing God’s power displayed and Satan’s kingdom displaced because we don’t reach out to God in prayer for supernatural resources and His intervention? Keith Thomas
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