"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them,
 and they follow me:
 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; 
 and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."
 John 10:27-29 (KJV) 

The toughest day in my NS journey was the first day of my summary exercise as a Specialist Cadet. I was recovering from a heat injury sustained the previous week. The searing heat (Code Black) made my duties as part of the advance party and leading my section unbearable.

I had also been discouraged by a close friend’s decision to leave the faith as well as a few others’ decision to leave my church. The internal and external struggles wore me down. I felt dizzy and dehydrated. I wanted to complete the exercise but my buddy was insistent that I report sick, else he would do so for me. I asked him to give me time to rest to see if my condition would improve, and he agreed. I then rested in my section’s 5-Tonner, read my devotional, and prayed hard for strength. I reflected that though I may lose my friends and my health, I would never lose my identity in Christ or my salvation.

I clung to this truth. By God’s grace, we have been spared from His wrath. We are no longer enemies of God, but His children and the sheep of His pasture. Our new identity in Christ means that the Great Shepherd will lead us and sustain us. No trial, no earthly power can pluck us out of His hand.

After praying, I had a short nap. When I awoke, my headache and dizziness had completely subsided. I was amazed that I felt refreshed despite only a short rest and I believe that God had answered my prayer.

“Down in the valley with my Saviour I would go,
Where the storms are sweeping and the dark waters flow; With His hand to lead me I will never, never fear,
Dangers cannot fright me if my Lord is near.”

By Ethan Tan
Reproduced from MCF 50th Anniversary Commemorative Publication
Lyrics from the Hymn “Down in the valley with my Saviour I would go”, William Cushing (1823-1902)