The Dragon-Slayer

Sword and shield

Life is not always fun and games. Catastrophe, disease, murder and even suicide often take the ones we dearly love. Just how can you cope? Especially when you're three years old, and the loved one lost is your own dad?

My heart was in agony as I took part in the memorial service of someone who had been one of my closest friends. Everyone was in tears, especially his young children, and no one could provide them with the comfort they sought. The three year-old boy, a spitting image of his dad, sobbed throughout the entire service on his mother's lap. I wished that I could have taken him into my arms and told him that it would all be okay, but in reality, all would never be the same again!

I had first met this little tyke the night before. Though I had tried to interact with him then, he didn't want to have anything to do with me. I wasn't discouraged, though. He had been only six months old the last time I had seen him, and naturally, to him I was a total stranger. Besides, he had just lost his dad and now he had to face the scary unknown.

The next day, the morning of the memorial service, I asked my Heavenly Father to use my wife and I in some way to bring comfort to my friend's children. When we went to their home to set up some memorial displays, his daughter immediately took to my wife. It took me a couple of hours to break through to the little boy, but after that he was my constant companion. He would stick his plastic sword under my arm and cry out triumphantly: "Aha! I got the dragon." I would try to make some noises to fit the occasion, and I soon graduated to his knight. Then I began chasing the imaginary dragons with him, and with two such adapt dragon-slayers, his home was soon free of the pesky creatures!

Pizza arrived for lunch, but he wasn't hungry. I prayed: "Lord, show me how to encourage him to eat." Then I took him on my lap and said: "That pizza is very special. There is one piece that has been especially designed for you. It will make you as strong as a dragon and you will never have to be scared of them any longer. Would you like to eat it now?" His eyes grew wide and he nodded his head. I got him his special piece of pizza and placed him on his special seat in front of the TV. But he insisted that I stay close by!

We played some more after that, but soon we had to leave to go to the memorial service. I felt that it was a blessing of God to have been able to make him smile in those few hours together. I had made a new friend, and for this reason, it was hard to leave the reception.

This little boy's world had come to a stand still. It is hard to lose a dad at any age, but especially when you are only three. Through this all however, God gave me a brief glimpse into his life, and somehow I knew that it would be all right. Somehow I knew that God would always be there for this little boy, to comfort him, to carry him through. I will try to be there for him as well, but my attempts will pale in comparison with the comfort His Heavenly Father will provide!

When disaster strikes a family, God is closer to the survivors than anyone would think ever possible. The same God, who willingly sent His son Jesus on our planet to make reconciliation with us possible, cares for those who are hurting. His promises in the Bible are clear on this: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matt 5:4 NIV); "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Ps 147:3 NIV); and "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Ps 34:18 NIV)

Why does He care for us? "That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you." (Isa 43:4 The Message)

God loves us and He will always be there for us. Remember that the next time disaster strikes. Trials cannot be avoided; however nothing and no one will ever be able to stop God's love for you either. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38-39 NIV)

You can with confidence approach Him and know that He will always willingly comfort you. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV)

He loves you!

Rob Chaffart

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