Do you remember your first teacher, coach, or boss? In life we come across those who leave their fingerprints on our lives. People who make such an impression you just never forget, you might consider them heroes.
Recently Tom, my husband, and I were in the store when I was reminded of how we impact others.
Sergeant Price! Sergeant Price! I heard a voice calling. I turned the corner of the aisle to see Tom and another man smiling at one another and shaking hands. The man clearly remembered Tom and Tom said, “Your face looks familiar to me, I just can’t recall your name.”
With a chuckle the man said, “Arnold. My name is Arnold and you were my first squad leader after I graduated Army basic training.” Tom knowingly shook his head as the two stood in the middle of the store catching up. They exchanged phone numbers and we left.
Once in the car, Tom was astonished, and kept repeating, “How did he recognize me? I’m bald now, shaved my mustache off, and have put on a few pounds. I don’t think I would have recognized him had he not called me by name.”
Where were we stationed when you met Arnold? I asked. Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., Tom replied. Ah, did he go to the Gulf war with you? Yes, he did. In fact Arnold had just graduated basic training when he was assigned to my squad and a few days later we deployed for the Gulf War.
We both sat in silence as our minds traveled back to that very significant, life changing, time in our lives.
I put myself in Arnold’s shoes; it seemed obvious to me that he would recognize Tom. He was a young man who had joined the Army and just completed 18 weeks of vigorous training to become a combat engineer. I’m sure Arnold like most soldiers was looking forward to celebrating and enjoying some time off upon graduation.
Instead he found himself in a whirlwind being assigned to a new unit and on a plane headed to Kuwait to face the “unknown.”
I surmise that young Private Arnold in the middle of dangerous war terrain placed great trust in and knew his Sergeant perhaps as well as he knew his own father. He most likely kept his eye on Tom, studied his every move, knew the length of his stride.
How could he ever forget the sound of the voice that once issued commands of how to maneuver safely through enemy territory. Tom didn’t need a name tag on in the store that day for Arnold to recognize the man who he followed into war and came out alive.
As we drove to our destination, I thought about Arnold and the others under my husband’s leadership and how they must have trusted him when they were sent to the front lines after the war began, not knowing what they would face or if they would be able to stay safe from enemy attacks.
I’m in awe of such trust that one must place in another and ask;
Do I trust my Lord in the same way these men trusted each other? Have I studied Him so that I know His voice, the details of His face? If He walked by would I automatically know Him?
This is the cry of my heart, to know my Lord, my Savior, and my Authority. No matter what comes my way, or where He leads me, with bold confidence, I will follow Him.
In order to know Him, we must spend time with Him; time reading His Word, time praying and listening for His voice.
We must experience His character through trials and tribulations. Honestly, it’s through tough times that I’ve come to know who He really is. He’s carried me through difficulties such as childhood abuse, unplanned pregnancies, husband serving in a war, mental illness, tornadoes, caring for my parents in the last days of their lives, and trusting Him in the unknowns, like I am now. So cliché, yet so true,
I would never sign up to go through hard times but once on the other side, I look back and wouldn’t trade what I learned for anything.
May you be encouraged to know there is a Hero among us, one that knows how to navigate through enemy terrain. One that will bring us through the battle and bring us to our eternal home alive forever more.
‘El Shaddai-Almighty God!
Lord of Hosts!
Commander of the Army!
Yahweh-nissi-The Lord our Banner!
Jesus our Salvation!