“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)
This past week we were privileged and blessed for the safe arrival home of Brother Eric Hill. Eric has been serving in the war in Afghanistan for most of this year. I had the opportunity to sit down with Eric during the first part of last week, and it was truly amazing to hear stories of the conflict going on to protect our country from terrorists’ attacks. Each of us knows the dangers our soldiers face and we sometimes feel helpless to do anything. When loved ones are called to duty, some just hope for the best and say “Good luck” as they watch friends or family members board the plane and head off into the unknown.
I am thankful that I do not have to send a soldier off with a wistful pat on the back and a tear in the eye as if there is nothing to be done to ensure his safety. I believe we serve a sovereign God that works all things after the counsel of His will. He has given me the privilege of prayer so that I can speak with Him and implore Him for the watch care of those I love. When I pray to God, I can follow the model of Jesus who said, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” When God is determined to protect, there is no might or force that can break the impregnable shield that surrounds us. There were times when Eric spent thirty to forty days without a break combing the mountains of Afghanistan searching for and fighting against the Taliban. There was an imminent threat every day, but Eric’s testimony was not one of fear. He felt God’s protection.
In the months that Eric was gone, I had a few conversations with him by phone. Most of the time he was extremely busy without much down time, but when we did get to speak, he never missed the opportunity to thank this church for our prayers. He is convinced that the prayers of God’s people helped keep him safe in dangers that we can only imagine.
We are very thankful that our great God kept Eric safe and brought him home to us. Take some time to speak with him and thank him for his service to our country. He is not one to seek praise, but that should not deter us from expressing gratitude for his willingness to serve our country with valor. While you thank him, praise our Heavenly Father for answered prayers!
Pastor V. Mark Smith