Sermon Illustrations

Focusing on Danger Yields A Missed Opportunity

August 12, 1944 - the allies nearly surrounded the German 7th and 5th Panser armies during operation Cobra.

General Omar Bradley described the situation stating, “This is an opportunity that comes to a commander not more than once in a century. We’re about to destroy an entire hostile army and go all the way from here to the German border.”

General Patton’s 3rd Army began to close the 25 mile gap but Bradley, now second guessing himself, ordered Patton to stop at Argentan.

Bradley along with Field Marshal Montgomery (who slowed the Canadian advance) and other commanders left the Falaise Gap open for 10 days allowing 100 to 240,000 German soldiers and 30,000 vehicles to escape.

Colonel H.R McMaster described it this way - “Patton was biased always towards seeing the opportunities, other commanders were biased towards seeing the dangers.”

Finally on August 21st, the gap was closed and the remainder of the German army which hadn’t yet escaped was obliterated - 15,000 German soldiers were killed, 50,000 were captured and over 500 German tanks were lost.

This finally ended the battle of Normandy and France was freed within days.

After the war allied commanders agreed that waiting to close the gap had been a colossal mistake.

We, as the Body of Christ today, find ourselves in a similar situation - we can either win it all or lose it all in our lifetimes.

Will we be biased towards seeing the opportunities or the dangers?

From a sermon by Nate Herbst, The Greatest Revival in History is Imminent, 12/12/2009

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