A certain tribe of Native Americans had a special rite of passage for training young braves. On one boy’s thirteenth birthday he was blindfolded and taken deep into the forest, where he was left to fend off the terrors of the night.
The young man had never been apart from his family until now. He had learned of all the dangerous creatures and of the danger of becoming lost forever in the labyrinth of untamed vegetation. But now it was his role to show his courage.
When he took off his blindfold, he found himself alone under the moon and the stars. The darkness and solitude magnified every sound, infusing every snap of a twig with foreboding possibilities. Could a wolf be stealthily drawing near? Or maybe a poisonous snake, coiling itself in the branches above? He wondered in the privileges of adulthood were worth such a trial.
After a moonlit eternity the first rays of sunlight broke through the thick green canopy above him. He began to see flowers, trees, and finally a forest pathway. Looking a bit farther, he was jolted by the sight of a fierce warrior only a few feet away, bow and arrow at the ready. It was his father. He had silently kept watch through the night.
A reminder that when you are having a hard time and traveling through adversity and rough waters that your heavenly Father is right there with you. You might not see Him or even feel His presence but He is there nonetheless. He promised He would never leave us not forsake us. And, I believe that. He is there in the midst of the storm to protect us and see that we get through whatever it is we are facing.
Life can bring us to dark and foreboding places — lonely places in which we feel isolated and maybe desolate. Yet there is always Someone keeping watch. Why doesn’t He speak? Why doesn’t He disclose His presence so that we might relax? He keeps His slience because otherwise we would not learn the lessons we need to learn from the test or trial. And, we would not learn to be courageous. We would not build trust.
The trials and the dark tough times that bring us into maturity are often terrifying or even painful. But who wants to remain a child forever? Not me! I want to be a fully grown, mature disciple of the Lord. I want the traits He wishes to install in me through His perfect love — traits that will be evident only if I trust Him, even when I can neither see Him nor feel His loving hand.