You're Gonna Need This

Marcus, you’re gonna need this.
— God

It was 2007 when one day I had the strongest thought come to my mind that I needed to go to the library. I had not been to the library in, well... forever. I was living in my newly purchased condo and figured I would need proof of residency so I grabbed a piece of mail off the counter to show my legitimacy and obtained a library card. I remember walking through the isles. I have always been a reader. While I my mission I was instructed by my mission President that I needed to send my suitcase of books home, that I could choose to keep a few, and that there would be a better time in my life to build up a library. 

As I walked through the Orem, Utah library I noticed a book called "Warrior Soul" by former Navy SEAL Chuck Pfarrar. i remember the book seemed to jump out at me. Aside from about a 3 month period immediately after my mission where I strongly considered joining the Marine Corps, I have never been into the military, especially for literary entertainment or education. 

I checked out the book. Since then I have read every Navy SEAL authored book I can get my hands on. Last week I finished Fearless - a must read for anyone. 

Of all the books I have read and of all the SEAL authored books I have read Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor has a story that I will never forget and think of often. While tumbling down the mountain in a futile escape from the Taliban fighters Marcus and his team mates had fallen down terribly steep and treacherous terrain. Twice Marcus had lost his rifle in the fall, and twice he miraculously found it immediately at his side. 

My gun strap had been ripped off me and my rifle whipped away. The trouble was, the terrain beyond the tree copse was completely unknown to us, because we could not see it from above. If we had, we might never have jumped; the ground just swept upward and then ducked away downward, inverted, like a goddamned ski jump. I rocketed up the lip of that back slope making about eighty knots, on my back, feetfirst. In the air I made two complete backflips and I landed again feet first, on my back, still coming down the cliff face like a howitzer shell. And at that moment I knew there was a God. First of all, I appeared not to be dead, which was right up there with Jesus walking on the water. But even more amazing was I could see my rifle not two feet from my right hand, as if God Himself had reached down to me and given me hope. Marcus, I heard Him say, you’re gonna need this. At least, I think I heard Him. In fact, I swear to God I heard Him. Because this was a miracle, no doubt in my mind. And I had not even had time to say my prayers. I didn’t know how far down we’d fallen, but it must have been two or three hundred yards. And we were both still going very fast. I could see Mikey up ahead, and I honestly did not know whether he was dead or alive. It was just a person crashing through the dirt and boulders. If he had not broken every bone in his body, that too was a miracle. Me? I was too battered to hurt, and I could still see my rifle tumbling down beside me. That rifle never strayed more than two feet from my hand throughout this death-defying fall. And I’ll always know it was guided by the hand of God. Because there is no other explanation.

— Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor pp. 213-214).

I do not know why things are sometimes so incredibly difficult, but I have come to believe that God is in the details of our lives or He is not there at all. For me, I believe the choice is one or the other, nothing in between. He either is or isn't - both have proving points. I believe He is.