One evening, not too long ago, I had to pick my daughter up from where she was visiting with some family friends. Although they lived a ways away, it was still within walking distance, so I went by foot. Night had fallen by the time we were ready to head home together.
This was the first time my young daughter was on the street in the dark of night, and this new experience naturally brought her a lot to process. “Papa,” she excitedly tugged at my hand, “look—look at the many stars in the sky and the many lights in the windows!”
She continued sharing her observations for a while, but they soon stopped coming as her initial amazement was slowly overshadowed by fear and unease. “Papa,” she again broke the silence, now tremulously, “where are we going? I can’t see our house. I don’t know the way, and I can’t see it.”
“But I know, and I can see it,” I replied consolingly. “And I also know where our house is. Don’t be afraid, just hold tight to my hand. I’ll lead you.”
“You know the way, Papa? Yes, yes,” she immediately continued, correcting and encouraging herself, “Papa knows the way and holds my hand and cares for me because he loves me. Right, Papa? You love me a lot? Oh, I won’t be afraid. No, no, I’m not scared at all anymore!”
With these words, she gripped my hand a little tighter and valiantly stepped along beside me, enjoying the sights and sounds. All fear had gone.
As we continued on together, I had to admit to myself what a lesson and encouragement my child’s example was to me. How often have I, despite my Heavenly Father’s faithful care, tortured myself with fear when I could not clearly see the way to the mansions in my Father’s house, behaving as though it were not enough to know that God loves me and that I can trust Him to bring me safely home. When dark hours of trial and tribulation come, I want to only hold tighter and tighter to my Savior’s hand. Then all my fear and troubles will fall away! Walking on His path and holding His hand, I can peacefully journey home, soothing my soul as I remember His plea, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am” (John 17:24).