R.V. Burgin was born and raised in East Texas. He worked hard on the family farm yet
found the time to play football on his high school team. His parents took him to Sunday School
and church. He grew up believing in God.
When war came on December 7, 1941, R.V. didn’t rush to a recruiting office as many
young men did. Instead, he waited a while and finally enlisted on November 10, 1942.
Significantly, November 10 is the Marines’ birthday. He made it through boot camp and was
shipped to the Pacific, where he survived the battles of New Britain and Peleliu. Before the
assault on New Britain, an island just east of New Guinea, R.V. prayed this brief petition, “God,
my life is in Your hands. Take care of me.” Throughout the war, that prayer sustained him.
(Adapted from Voices of the Pacific, Adam Makos)
When Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee, Simon Peter, His impulsive and outspoken
disciple, asked Christ if he, too, could walk on water. Jesus simply said, “Come.” Peter climbed
out of the boat and he did exactly what he had requested. He walked on water, for a time. Then
he became afraid and he began to sink. He exclaimed, “Lord, save me.” Jesus reached out, took
Peter’s hand, and rescued him. (Matthew 14:23-33)
In that moment, Simon Peter also recognized that his life was in God’s hands.
When a person joins the Church either by the Sacrament of Baptism or through the Rite
of Confirmation, that individual makes certain promises. The belief that underlies those
promises is this, “My life is in your hands.”
When an alcoholic or an addict comes to recognize that their current course is a
highway to destruction, that person may make a conscious effort to turn their will and life over
to the care of God as they understand Him. In other words, they say, “My life is in Your hands.”
Recently, I visited a gentleman who was seriously ill. In fact, he was aware that his time
on earth was extremely limited. During our conversation, I asked if there was anything that
needed to be done so he might die with a clear conscience. He indicated that he routinely
confessed his sins and he deemed himself to be right with God, with one exception. He was
alienated from one person in his life. This estrangement grieved him, and he wanted to correct
that situation before he passed away.
Since our conversation, this committed Christian reached out and the two individuals
reconciled. Their relationship was not perfect, but it had improved to the point that my friend
died with a conscience untroubled by unfinished business. He was driven by his faith in Jesus
Christ to be reconciled because he understood that shortly his life would be in God’s hands in a
new and intimate way.
The following is one of the prayers which I pray every evening as part of my daily
Lord Jesus, for Thee I live,
for Thee I suffer
for Thee I die.
Lord Jesus, Thine will I be in life and death.
Grant me, O Lord, eternal salvation.
It’s my way of saying, “My life is in Your hands.”
R.V. Burgin recognized, when his existence was uncertain, that it was God that
determined his destiny. It is that way for all of us.
“My life is in Your hands.” Recognizing that truth will give you peace whatever lies