Andy had never had much in life, but he did have his two children and the little cabin in which they lived. Several years before, his wife had left the family one day, and later he learned that she had remarried, and then in an accident had been killed.
How Andy did love those children! And how he cared for them! They worked together on their little mountain farm, when the children were not at the little one-room schoolhouse down the road.
But then one day it happened.
Andy was out in the fields working when the fire started. But that morning both girls were in the house!
As soon as he saw the smoke he ran. His precious Suzy and Cindy! He prayed as he raced across the field and through a wooded area, for he had already learned by experience that God could answer prayer.
When he arrived, the little cabin was in flames. Smashing the door down with his powerful shoulder, he rushed in and found a blazing beam blocking a second door. Hurling it aside with his bare hands, he entered and found his little girls on the floor. Trying to put out the fire, they had both been overcome by the smoke. Reaching down with his strong arms, he picked them up and hurried from the blazing cabin. Just as he set foot on the outside porch, the building rafters collapsed behind him in to the building. Even yet, sparks and smoke and flames seemed everywhere, but somehow he struggled out into the yard.
They were safe.
Hearing about it, the local magistrate said that Andy’s children must be taken from him and given to people who would give them a better home. This put the whole town in an uproar, and on the day of the custody trial, the courtroom was packed.
First, the county attorney stood and told why he thought the children should be taken from Andy. The people respected him because he was influential and had lots of learning. But then Andy got up. Too poor to afford a lawyer, he spoke for himself. With strong tears he told of his love and care for his little ones down through the years. No matter how bad the troubles got, he had given them his whole life—his all.
As he closed, he raised his hands and pled that the children might be restored to him. Reddened, ugly scars disfigured both hands, for in rescuing his beloved, the two hands had been severely burned.
At this, total silence came over the entire room, and the judge tried to speak, but had a hard time getting the words out. Then he said this: “Andy was willing to give his life for his children, and he will carry the scars of his sacrifice in his hands for the remainder of his life. There is no one in this county better qualified to have them. This court rules that the children shall be given back to Andy.”
The whole building erupted in a burst of cheers, for Andy, who loved his own more than the whole world, and had proved himself willing to die to save them—was now to receive his own back again.
Friend, just now, God wants to receive you back again also. On Calvary, Christ paid the price.
This story was taken from the book Shelter in the Storm and used by permission. The entire book may be purchased by calling Steps to Life or writing to the publishers at Harvestime Books, Altamont, TN 37301.