“Are you guys up there?” our almost three-year-old grandson called from the bottom of the basement stairs.
“I’m in the living room,” I replied from where I was doing my morning devotions.
“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. Obviously, his daddy had known where he was going and had been with him in the whole time. We snuggled and talked about his day before he and his daddy went back down to their apartment.
After they left, I thought about my grandson's slow conquering of his fear of the dark. My mind wandered to times when I couldn’t see a way through the darkness that infiltrated my workplace and touched my family through illness, death, and unexpected life changes in the past. I thought of my mother and my dear uncle and aunt who are in failing health. When they die, the people who walked me through childhood, who followed close behind as I braved the dark will be gone.
Tears sprang to my eyes. But memories of past darkness and the reality of future loss didn’t bring me to despair. Rather, they filled me with hope. Because I know I didn't walk alone through the darkness in the past, and I won’t be alone when blackness surrounds me in the future.
As certainly as his daddy followed my grandson 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 and the assurance of all parents who trust in our Father while raising children with special needs and disabilities. Wherever we go and whatever we face, wherever our children go and whatever they face, however dark the circumstances, however black the evil encountered, God is with us. And He is with our children as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God the Son, through the example of His time on earth, grants courage and strength to pass through trials by His victory over death. God the Holy Spirit within our hearts, guides 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 plagues our days on earth: You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Isaiah 139:5 (NASB)
God has enclosed us and our children behind and before.
His hand is upon us.
He is ever with us.
Our children are not alone.
We need not fear the dark.