As a little boy, I usually slept like a rock. But one winter night I woke up and walked into the living room. I was about 6 or 7 years old. My stirring also awakened my father. While standing in front of our fireplace staring at the remaining embers of a fire from the previous evening, my father walked up beside me. I don’t remember his exact words of greeting, but they were something along the line of, “Can’t sleep. Me neither. Are you hungry?” I gathered up a smile from my drowsiness and said, “Yes" as I stood there in my Donald Duck pajamas.
I expected my dad to tell me to grab something from the fridge, but instead, he did something special, and unexpected. He rekindled the fire and told me to sit on the hearth, and he would be right back. A few moments later, he reappeared with chunks of raw steak on a plate. He then fashioned two cooking skewers out of some kindling and put a piece of meat on the end of each stick and handed me one. He smiled and said, “Let’s eat!” We thrust our skewers of meat into the fire just like we were camping. The glow on our faces at 2:00 a.m. was reminiscent of the special camping trips we had taken months earlier in the summer. After we ate our fill dad said, “It’s time to hit the hay, ” and off to bed I went having experienced a special moment with my dad and the peace that comes from knowing you are loved and protected.
This story came to my memory with a word of comfort. Some of you feel as though you are waking in the night of your current life-experience feeling alone in the darkness it has created. What used to make sense, no longer does. You feel you are all alone, but you are not. Your Heavenly Father sees you walking around trying to figure everything out. In that confusion, He is coming to stand with you just like my earthly father came to me. He is not coming with correction or even the solution to your troubles. He is coming just because He loves you and wants to be with you and share a meal of communion in your suffering. You have expected His arrival to bring correction and admonishment. Instead, He will give you the peace of His presence. The recognition of His presence will be your source of peace, not the resolution of your struggle.