As a husband and wife and four children preparing for my year in Iraq, we prayed for my physical safety. But what is more of a miracle: to save the body or to save the soul? God has delivered my soul from death—showing not only His love for me, but also His power. God has rescued me from eternal death to eternal life by going there Himself and fetching me out. He does not promise that I will never suffer bodily harm, but by already giving me new life in Christ, He has demonstrated His power to save to the uttermost. Since He loves me enough to sacrifice His only Son on my behalf, I know that He will always do what is best for me. I don’t know if that means physical safety, but I know that He is capable of keeping me safe in the midst of danger. And I know that my Lord will go anywhere that I am. If the constraints of death itself could not hold Him back from what the Father had purposed, certainly here on this earth there is no obstacle He cannot overcome.
Feeling the assurance that my Heavenly Father will never let go of me, and being comforted in the knowledge of His spiritual and emotional provision for me, I am surprised that a prevailing anxiousness still builds on the horizon. I know that I am heading into a test of my faith; my greatest fear is that of failing. I fear the possibility that my thoughts and actions might soil the name of the One Who called me by my name and forgave me. But I know that my God has delivered my feet from falling in the past and will again. I know that He is watching every step I take. I will walk before my Lord in the land of the living.
“Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:7–9).
Lord, keep my feet from stumbling as I walk the path You have set for me as a follower of Christ.
On June 2, 2009, I arrived home after being away a year (to the day!). Walnut Ridge Baptist Church, my family, and a lot of people from my community welcomed me home that day at our home in La Porte City, Iowa, looking like something straight out of a movie. That was one of the most memorable moments of my life, and I’ll always be very grateful to everyone who was there.
I am still in the Iowa National Guard, having reenlisted in November 2009 for another three years. I hope to use some of the educational benefits I now qualify for to help finish an undergraduate degree in music at the University of Northern Iowa that I had almost completed before I joined the military. After that, I hope to go on to graduate school at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa, Lord willing.
Jocelyn Green is a freelance author living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She and her husband, Rob, are members of Walnut Ridge Baptist Church in Waterloo, Iowa. She has written for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, General Mills, Nestlé, and Christianity Today. Read many of Jocelyn’s published articles at www.jocelyngreen.blogspot.com. Article excerpt from Battlefields and Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. Used by permission.