Isaiah 139:5

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Isaiah 139:5
‘Are you guys up there?’ our almost three-year-old grandson called from the bottom of the basement stairs one early morning several years ago.

‘I’m in the living room,’ I replied.

‘Is the baby gate open?’ he hollered.

‘Yes,’ I hollered back.

He lowered his voice and gave himself a pep talk. ‘I can crawl up the stairs instead of holding the handrail. And I won’t be afraid of the dark.’

I heard him scramble up the steps, and a few seconds later, he walked through the door. ‘I’m here, Grammy,’ he announced and climbed into my lap for a hug. ‘I’m here!’ Before I could ask if his parents had given him permission to visit, his father came through the door and winked. Obviously, his daddy had known where his child was going and had been with him the whole time.

Eavesdropping on my grandson brought back memories of times when I couldn’t see a way through the darkness of work challenges, illness, death, and unwanted life changes. The hug I shared with him made me think of my mother, as well as my dear uncle and aunt, all of whom were in failing health. When they died, I realized that the people who walked me through childhood and followed close behind as I braved the dark will be gone.

The memories of past darkness and the reality of future loss didn’t bring me to despair then or now, even though the coronavirus pandemic continues. Rather, they filled me with hope. I know I didn’t walk alone through darkness in the past, and I won’t be alone when blackness surrounds me in the future. As certainly as my grandson was followed by his daddy to where his Grammy sat waiting to gather him close, the Son of God is in the darkness with me, guiding me to the Father who waits with arms open wide in welcome.

This hope is the assurance of all believers. Wherever we go, whatever we face, however dark our circumstances, and despite the evil we may encounter, God is with us. God the Son, through the example of His time on earth, grants us courage and strength to pass through trials by His victory over death. God the Holy Spirit is within us, guiding us surely and securely every step of the way through life. God the Father waits to welcome us into His presence with a love that knows no bounds.

Isaiah’s words, written thousands of years ago, are comfort in the darkness that sometimes plagues our days on earth. He has enclosed us behind and before. His hand is upon us.

He is ever with us. We need not fear the dark.
Jolene Philo | Author

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