My granddaughter blew her birthday candles out on her 12th birthday. It seems like only yesterday when fear attacked me. At three months, she was hospitalized for ailments that puzzled doctors.
They ordered tests and more tests, but no answers. We paced back and forth from worry, then prayer, then back to apprehension, then faith. Then once again, worry came back.
Have you ever traveled through that merry-go-round of emotions? You know, the kind where you’re sure of your faith, you have God’s Word hidden in your heart, you’ve shared it with others over and over again, and you’ve applied it diligently, too.
But when a loved one is being threatened in any way, all wisdom woven together in your soul begins to unravel. Your mind knows, but it’s not in sync with what burns in your heart.
Until…until, God, in His awesome wisdom nudges you in the right track. He did that for me, in a strange way–through this story:
The legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of passage. His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him, and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.
Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
With heart pulsating, I, too, sat on the stump, in the darkness trembling at the possibilities I could not see, imagining the worst regarding my grandchild. Foolish, right? God was beside me and her as well.
And He’s with you too, no matter what you face.
Though not by choice, you’re on that stump of life, there you are, shaking. Fear came because of bad news or unexpectedly life turned upside down and sleepless nights are long.
But during the night, when you feel alone in the darkness of pain, God is beside you. He’s watching your worry that has no reason, your fear that has no merit, and your anxious thoughts that shouldn’t be there.
Time to remove the blindfold of doubt. When you do, you can rest in the reassurance that He’s with you during the night. And during the day, He’ll walk with you to a triumphant victory.
“Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 93:16-19 NIV)
Let’s Pray: Father, thank You for the joy of knowing I’m not alone in my troubles. I’m not left to make all the decisions, or to figure it all out, I’m not abandoned or forgotten. Thank You for the reassurance that with You, I can endure anything. In Jesus name.
If you’re on a stump of life, feeling alone, will you trust in God’s presence?
Janet P. Eckles