Twice Enlisted

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It has been given to few to start life under more favorable circumstances than the subject of this story. His father was a devoted preacher of the Gospel, and his mother a woman of choice spirit. From infancy right on through childhood and boyhood he was surrounded by the most helpful influences, and shielded from all the coarser side of life. No book was so familiar to him as the Bible; no stories were so fascinating as those he had learnt at his mother's knee. Up to his teens everything in his surroundings ministered to his happiness and well-being, and when he entered college, his future was bright with promise.
At first, notwithstanding parental warnings, he was greatly shocked as he was made acquainted with form of vice hitherto unknown to him. He became the sport of older fellows who delighted to play upon his sensitive nature. Others resented his aloofness, and called him "a cad" because he refused to fall into line with them. Others told him he wasn't playing the game, until, at last, his defenses gave way—he hated to be singular—and step by step he went down to their level!
He no longer read his Bible. He was laughed out of saying his prayers, and by degrees he shed all the old truths he had been taught, and when he left school and returned home he had no further use for religion. His father hoped he would follow him in service for the Lord, but this he flatly refused, and to the grief of his parents he disappeared!
Long months passed before they heard from him months of untold sorrow and anxiety, also months of unceasing prayer. How those prayers were answered remains to be told.
When the prodigal set out for the far country, it was with the determination to get away from religion, and thinking the army the most likely place, he enlisted! But the very first night in the barrack-room gave him the shock of his life. At the cot next to his a Christian soldier was kneeling in prayer! He could scarcely believe his eyes. A "Tommy" praying in a barrack-room.
Immediately his conscience smote him, and he knew that he, too, ought to be on his knees. The days that followed were days of conflict. Memory was haunting him with pictures of the old home. Texts from the Bible flashed before him. Conscience lashed him wherever he went. But he had enlisted to get rid of religion, so he fought his conscience, and tried to silence it. He would have his way!
Never once had his parents lost faith in prayer, and unceasingly they had cried to God on behalf of their erring boy. How their prayers were answered would, take a long time to tell, but the Christian soldier in the next cot was most used to win back the wanderer. By earnest pleading, by constant prayer, and by a consistent life, he had done his utmost to save his chum from disaster, and at last he had the joy of leading him to Christ. In the 'far country" of degrading sin, he had come to himself. Realizing the enormity of his sin, he cried to God for forgiveness—a cry God loves to hear; and through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ he passed from the bondage of Sin and Satan, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Great was the joy in the old home. What mattered that their son had enlisted as a common soldier, since he had now enlisted as a "good soldier of Jesus Christ?" (2 Tim. 2:3). "He was lost, but is found!"
"The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.