Where can I go from your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there;
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,’
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psalm 139:7-12 (NASB)
When I was a child, I remember waking during the night and being frightened by the shadows dancing on the walls of my bedroom. In the moonlight, what were cheerful and familiar dolls and toys during the day became menacing strangers waiting to wreak havoc in my quiet little room. I would carefully pull the covers up to my chin, and in a quavering voice I would call out, “Daddy!!!” Within seconds, my father would appear in the shadows and suddenly the still dark room seemed a bit lighter. “I’m here! It’s ok. Don’t be afraid,” he would assure me. Just his presence in my little room quieted my racing heart. He would come over and sit on the edge of the bed and ask gently, “What’s the matter? Are you sick?” “No,” I would sheepishly answer him, “I’m scared.” “Did you hear a noise?” he would inquire patiently. “I don’t know, but I don’t think so. I had a bad dream.” I would tell him my childish fears about the shadows on the wall, and worries about monsters hiding in the closet or under the bed. I still remember how kindly he spoke to me, reassuring me that no one had come in since he locked the doors before going to bed. Just to make sure, he would always look under the bed, and open the closet so I could see everything was as it should be. Leaning over, he’d kiss my forehead, tell me he loved me and before leaving would say a quick prayer, asking God to calm my fears. He’d then tuck the covers in around me. As he stood to go, he would say the words I had come to expect, “Remember, you are never alone. I am just in the next room, and Jesus is always here. He is with you everywhere, all the time. And He never sleeps. He is always watching over you.”
Decades later, when I wake during the night now, and the shadows of my life, filled with worries of the day, dance on the wall of my mind, I call out to my Heavenly Father, and I hear His words, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 41:10 NASB) Just His Presence quiets my racing heart, and the shadows are gone.
About the Writer:
Nan Haines is especially thankful for an earthly father who has loved his children in a way that made it easy for her to trust in her Heavenly Father. She has been a pastor’s wife for 34 years, and has four grown kids and a son in love.