A friend once passed onto me the story of the Cherokee’s rite of passage from a boy to a man. The father took the boy into the forest, blindfolded him and left him alone. The boy then was 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 could not cry out for help. Once he survived the night, he would be considered a man by his tribe.
The boy was naturally terrified. He could hear all kinds of noises. He knew that wild beasts must surely be all around him. The wind blew through the trees, but the boy sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. Finally, after a long scary night, the sun appeared and the boy removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father was sitting on the stump next to him. He had been there the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
There are times for each of us in life, when we must survive the darkness of night. We face illness and loss, heartache and suffering. However, the truth is, we are never alone either.
There is an old African proverb, “No matter how dark the night, the dawn will always break.” The proverb is true. It is also true that God is with us – not only in the morning dawn – but also in the night.
Let us pray: God of Hope, we pray today for those who find themselves in the darkness of night. We pray for those who have recently lost loved ones, and for those who are in the midst of illness or depression. We also pray for those who might be in harm’s way – especially women and men in the military who are currently deployed. And we lift up the families who await them back home. We ask that whatever the situation, they would know your comforting presence, and your healing grace. May they also be assured by the promises of the gospel, that with you all things are possible, things will change and the dawn will break. We pray in the name of the Light of the World. Amen.
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