The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us. (Ezra 8:31)


HITLER’S AGENTS CAPTURED JOSEPH and imprisoned him in a concentration camp. As he and others were marched to the prison, he saw a book protruding from the pocket of a dead Jew beside the road. Only later did he realize it was a New Testament. As Max Lucado tells the story, Joseph was able to read most of it before a guard took it from him.

After months of horrible imprisonment, he escaped and lived in the woods for two years. One day, against his better judgment, he knocked on the door of a farmhouse, looking for food. He didn’t know a Nazi gathering was taking place within the house.

The German officer who answered the door recognized Joseph was an escaped prisoner. Closing the door and stepping onto the porch, he said, “Do you know who I am?”

Joseph could only weakly mutter, “I am hungry.” When the officer threatened him with his gun, Joseph repeated, “I am hungry.”

Finally, the soldier holstered his pistol and said, “Hitler is a thousand miles from here and he’ll never know what I do.” He entered the house and returned with a basket of food.

Joseph knew someone was protecting him.

Six times in ten chapters, Ezra referred to the hand of God, which provided courage, guidance, and protection. You too can trust God to lead and protect you in the new year.


In 2019, seek the hand of God in all you do.


Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.


© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.