Never Be Afraid

For so many years, war had been raging in the African country of Angola. But the fighting had been far away from the village where Zain's little White-washed mud-brick house stood. Then suddenly, it came to the village. Rockets streaked across the sky. Bullets whizzed through the air. Bombs exploded everywhere. And people scampered for safety.

Ten-year-old Zain shivered as he thought about their nearness to the battle. But there wasn't any place to hide.

“Let's stay here,” his mother told him. “It's much safer to be inside than to be anywhere else at this time.” She dragged Zain by the hand and led him to a corner where they squatted and listened to the terrifying sounds going on around them. Clutching her Bible closer to her, she whispered, “Please, God, keep us safe!”

“I'm scared,” Zain said sobbing as he heard the rattling of guns nearby and the thundering bombs in the distance. “Are we really safe here, Mama?” he asked.

Mother didn't answer right away. Instead, she hugged her son and urged him to kneel down with her for prayer. Just then, Zain remembered some favorite Bible texts he learned from Sabbath school. And he began to recite them. “He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7); “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Psalm 34:7); “When I am afraid, I will trust in you…. In God I trust; I will not be afraid” (Psalms 56:3,4).

Repeating those verses were like saying magic words. It made Zain feel secure and calm. His fears gone, he clasped his hands in prayer close to her Mother's side.

The whizzing sounds of bullets, now everywhere, were coming nearer and nearer. Mother and Zain closed their eyes tightly as they prayed. They asked God to take away their fears and keep them safe in His loving care.

Rat-tat-tat! Bang! Zing! Bullets flew right through their open window, hitting the walls of their little mud-brick house. They were everywhere - even passing over their heads. Some bullets hit their ceiling and dropped to the floor.

Then the noise of gunfire stopped. As Zain stood up, he happened to look at the floor where long, round pieces of metal lay scattered. Soon Mother was surprised to find out what Zain was holding in his hands.

“Bullets! Five bullets!” her heart pounded and her knees felt weak.

“A few more inches and they could have hit us!” Zain said.

“It's a miracle. God saved us!”

“He certainly did!” Mother gasped with relief. “We didn't know we were so close to being badly hurt or even killed! Oh, God, thank you for saving us!”

Mother and Zain dropped to their knees once again. And they thanked God for keeping them safe and unharmed.

Soon, Zain was with other children outside their house. Walking along the roads in their village, they saw huge holes caused by explosions, burned buildings, and rubble everywhere. In some places, roofs and walls of houses were either missing or broken.

In spite of the damage caused by the war, Zain was happy. God has been watching over him and his mother in scary times. He knew he never has to be afraid because in times of danger and need, God is always there to help.

Arts | Fiction | Short Stories

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