Hard Lessons

     The demons attacked just after midnight.  It had been a hard day of preparation for Vassall, and he groggily swam up from the depths of sleep to the scream of alarms and cries of battle.  His muscles still ached from the practice rounds he had put in with Remus during the drills they had worked that day.  The scar on his abdomen still ached where Remus had slipped during a mock attack and actually rammed his practice blade into Vassall.  It was sore and tender, but Vassall accepted it as punishment for letting his guard down.  He sprang out of his bunk, arming himself with his short sword and dashing out of the barracks.  Dark leathery wings slammed into him almost the instant he was outside.  Suddenly Vassall found himself in a life and death struggle with a mottled grey creature with an armored hide.  As they thrust and parried one another, Vassall with his sword and the demon with what seemed to be a sharpened piece of black metal, Vassall’s reflexes took over.  His battle sharpened sense took control, and he saw the identical moment play out as it had during his sparing bout with Remus.  The scar was still tender though, and it was a lesson he had already learned.  When the demon’s weapon struck the blow, Vassall had already removed himself from the danger zone.  As the demon struggled to recover, Vassall plunged his own blade into it’s exposed flank.

Sometimes we wonder why we face trials, and how God can let these things that seem so negative happen to us.  I wonder about this too, sometimes, but I also realize that pain is a better teacher than admonition sometimes.  It is not a pleasant thought, but it is true.  You will remember a scar a lot longer than you will a narrowly avoided injury.  Simply telling your child that the stove is hot may not register with them, but if they touch that hot surface they will never forget what it has taught them. (And no I do not advocate teaching this way.  I am just stating an observation.)  I think that sometimes we go through pain, to help us avoid a much more damaging situation in the future.  We must keep the faith and believe that He only does what is best for us.

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