My Daddy Won't Let You!
Charles Naylor, 1941
A little boy was walking along a road one day when he met two larger boys. They sought to have some fun with the little fellow by teasing him. One began to frighten the little fellow by threatening him. That he was startled and that a pang of fear went through him was evident, but in a moment the little fellow had mastered himself. He braced up, looked his tormentor in the face, and in reply to the threat that had been made said positively, "No you won't!"
"Yes I will," said the other menacingly.
"No you won't," said the little fellow. "My daddy won't let you!"
Ah, there was the secret of his courage! His father was not in sight. Perhaps the child did not know where he was. However, he was confident of one thing—that his father would protect him, and take care of him, and let no ill befall him. This childlike confidence gave him courage to face the danger that seemed very real to him, and to meet it without shrinking.
What a lesson there is in this for us! This little fellow knew the situation was altogether too difficult for him. Either of the two opponents was vastly superior to him in strength and could easily harm him. Still his courage did not falter. He made no effort to run away. He faced the situation with confidence.
"My daddy won't let you!" What a world of confident trust was wrapped up in these words!
In the same way, every Christian has a Father who is as loving, as tender, as powerful—a millionfold, yes, infinitely greater in every respect than the father of this boy. If we, with the same simplicity of heart, meet the threatening situations upon our pathway and say to every enemy, "My Father won't let you!" with the same calm, abiding trust that the little boy showed—then what strength it will give us, what courage for life's battles! Is there not just as much, yes, far more reason for us to be confident, than the child had for his confidence? Our God is present—he is not out of sight nor of hearing.
Our God is all powerful, and he loves us with a love that never grows cold; that is, he is never indifferent to our welfare. There is ample ground for our confidence in God's multitude of promises, every one of which is as safe to trust as his most sacred oath.
"Our Father will not let you!" said the three Hebrew children, and they walked unscathed through the fiery furnace.
"My Father won't let you!" was Daniel's confidence in the face of the roaring lions.
The same words in different form were in the hearts of Isaiah and Hezekiah when Jerusalem was surrounded by the armies of Assyria. The leader of the enemies of Judah told them that they trusted in their God in vain. See 2 Kings 18-19. He told them that their God could do no more than could the gods of the nations round about them, and that they had not been able to save their countries from the ravaging armies of Assyria. But these embattled armies marched away and left Jerusalem untouched.
"Oh, it just happened that way. It was just a combination of circumstances," says the unbeliever. Yes, it was a combination of circumstances, but who combined the circumstances? Isaiah knew; Hezekiah knew; the men of Jerusalem knew.
Nearly eight hundred years later, Jerusalem was again surrounded. This time it was the Roman army. This time God did not say "Stay within the walls," but "Flee." The Romans were bent on destroying all the Jews within the city, or sending them into captivity—but the Christians, forewarned of what was coming and being instructed what to do, looked upon the Roman armies without fear. They knew Jerusalem was to be destroyed. They knew that doubtless famine, pestilence, and great bloodshed were to follow. Many things threatened them from every side, but with a confidence born of trust in God, they raised their eyes to Heaven and said, "My Father will not let you!" And we are told that not a Christian perished, though great multitudes of other Jews were slaughtered. They fled, and were saved through trusting in God.
Luther stood calm and bold, strong and resolute before his enemies because he believed in God. The weapons of faith triumphed over the weapons of an empire.
Spain marshaled her armies, built the greatest fleet of ships that ever sailed the waters of the oceans up to that time, and sent the celebrated Spanish Armada to conquer England and bring her down to the foot of the Pope again. But that mighty fleet melted away, as it were, like frost before the rising sun, and only a small remnant of it reached home again. God works among the nations. He works in the individual life. All the resources of his kingdom are behind his promises.
Moses feared not the king's wrath, for his heart said, "My Father will not let you!"
How many times that simple trust in the heart of a helpless saint of God, has been mightier than the armies of the kings; has been more powerful than the wills of monarchs! How this works is well illustrated in the case of David and Saul.
Saul was a powerful monarch. He had a large army. His army was loyal to him and ready to fight for him. The king was surrounded by guards. He was protected on every hand. No danger was allowed to come near him, and yet he was afraid. Afraid of whom? Not afraid of the Philistines; he was ready to go out to fight them. He was not afraid of the Syrians on the north. He was not afraid of being murdered. He was not afraid of a revolt of his army. But Saul was afraid. He was afraid of a man who had no disposition to do him harm. He was afraid of David (1 Samuel 18:12). Why did he fear him? For the same reason that a thousand men of high degree have feared those who would not harm them. "And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him."
David trusted in the Lord; that was the source of his faith. It was his faith that protected him against the wrath of the king. It was his faith that struck the hearts of his enemies with terror. It was his faith that triumphed.
You and I have access to the same God. The power of a living faith in God in us will be the same as in those illustrious examples of past ages. You may find the courage and boldness to say, "My Father won't let you!" and believe it in your heart so surely that you can face whatever threatens with a confidence that will not shrink and with a deep, settled satisfaction that the mighty hand of God will not fail to protect and keep you whatever may come!