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Chemical Warfare

February 2, 2022

“Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” (Genesis 50:19b-20, NIV).

In 1942, 30 Allied ships were anchored in the harbor in Bari, Italy, supplying the armies that were reclaiming Italy from the Nazis. Military command thought the ships were safe, as most of the Nazi air force had been defeated, but the German planes came anyway, dropping bombs that destroyed ship after ship. Among the casualties were many who blistered with unusual burns, dying without clear cause. Lt. Colonel Stewart Francis Alexander, a physician expert in chemical warfare, was brought to the scene and recognized signs and symptoms consistent with nitrogen mustard, developed by the Germans and banned by the Geneva Convention, which was signed by the U.S. in 1925. Through incredible research and under tremendous pressure, Dr. Alexander discovered the chemical had come from American containers, illegal by the Geneva Convention and hidden in the American ships to retaliate against the Germans if needed. Through his and other research, Dr. Alexander also noted the ability of nitrogen mustard to markedly reduce lymphoid cells. He passed the information to colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering, from where began the incredible evolution of cancer therapy.*

God has this amazing ability to take that which the world means for evil and transform it into His good. Out of war, deception and horrible chemical warfare, God allowed us to discover ways to cure thousands of innocent people from horrible cancers. God took what Satan meant for evil and turned it for good.

I look at my own life and realize the sin nature that still breaks lose at times. I then look at my children and grandchildren who love the Lord and will live forever with Him. God has taken a sinful person like me and brought forth these wonderful persons of eternal and infinite value.

God never quits. He never gives up. He is still working in my life and in yours to take the things that are most degrading us, whether they come from within ourselves or from events beyond our control. He is compressing the dark coals of our lives in His loving and powerful hands to squeeze diamonds from the dirty rocks.

Whatever evil is happening to my life and whatever sin has come from my life, through His grace and power, God will overcome it for good because I love Him and am “…called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28b, NIV).

Dear Father,
Remove the evil from within my life; remove the evil that threatens my life, that you might bring good from it and glory to your name.

*The Smithsonian Magazine, September 2020

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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