The Soldier

“Tell me a story, Daddy!” the little boy exclaimed.

Looking down at his son, the Dad did not see a little boy, but a future soldier. A man who was in training to face the battles of real life, someone who would one day face the world and need to be prepared for it.

So the Dad softly began the story.

“Once upon a time there was a soldier, who served a mighty king. One day, the mighty king called all his soldiers to battle. Like a good man, our soldier responded and headed for the battle.

“The enemy was fierce and terrible. It was said that the enemy was as fierce as a roaring lion. At first this intimidated the soldier, but he pressed on because the king had called him.

“The fighting was intense and many men died. The enemy ravaged the towns and villages of the countryside, burned buildings and killed families. It was brutal. But still the soldier fought on, knowing his king would not let him fight alone.

“At one point, the enemy fought especially hard. It seemed like there was no way for the kingsmen to live out the fight. Some soldiers fled, but our soldier sent a petition to the king and the king sent reinforcements that drove the enemy away—but not after a long night’s fighting. During the night, the enemy made a surprise attack and our soldier was injured. The kingsmen took him aside and comforted him, but eventually they all went back to their fighting.

“The soldier felt all alone. It was dark and he could hear the screams and horrors of the battle. He almost despaired, but just then he felt a firm hand and heard a friendly voice say, ‘I am with you, soldier! Don’t give up; you will be healed if you make it through the night!’ It was the army’s great physician, who had come to help!

“The soldier was encouraged and able to tolerate the darkness a little more after this. But it was still so very lonely. He could hear the enemy making a great noise and he was intimidated.

“Soon the sun began to rise. The soldier could see the glimmer in the far eastern sky. Already the soldier could tell that whatever the great physician had done was healing his body. He sat up and looked around. By now the fighting was over, and had moved to a different place, but the destruction was obvious. The enemy had killed and destroyed, burned and plundered, what hope was left?

“The soldier wondered if there was hope. He saw the destruction from the battle and wondered what good could come from it? Could anything beautiful ever arise again? The soldier looked at his arms and legs, all bruised and bloody: could he ever live normally again?

“Questions and doubt plagued his mind. At first he resigned to the destruction, realizing there was no way around it. This was reality. But as the soldier crawled through the dirt and the ashes, he became angry. Why hadn’t the king responded sooner? Why did the king allow the army’s numbers to become so depleted? Hadn’t the king failed?

“But just then, the soldier looked up, and right there, right in front of him stood the king.

“‘The enemy has been routed and the nation has been saved,’ the king said.

“The soldier was ashamed at his thoughts and anger and looked down mournfully. ‘I am sorry to doubt you,’ said he.

“‘Do not be ashamed, sir,’ said the king. ‘But come and arise, we are victorious!’ And with that the king grabbed hold of the soldier’s shoulders and hoisted the man to his feet.

“‘There is nothing to fear because I will always protect you,’ affirmed the great king. ‘You will never be alone, but always safe under my protection. So go now walk in my joy because you are my victorious soldier.”

The Dad looked at his son who was now fast asleep. It was his story: the Dad was the soldier, and Jesus was the king. One day the little boy was going to face the same experience and the same struggle. He was going to be hurt and would need healing; he was going to doubt, and would need renewed faith. But until then, he would sleep in the safe and loving arms of his dad.

Safe

Phil Wickham

To the one whose dreams have fallen all apart
And all you’re left with is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes you think you’re on your own
But you’re not alone

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong it never lets you go
No you’re not alone

You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms

Did you know that the voice that brings the dead to life
Is the very same voice that calls you now to rise
So hear Him now, He’s calling you home. You will never be alone

You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms

Cause these are the hands that built the mountains,

the hands that calm the sea
These are the arms that hold the lame

and they are holding you and me
These are the hands that heal the leper

pull the lame up to their feet
These are the arms that were nailed to the cross

to break our chains and set us free

You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms

C.D.

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