THERE come seasons of darkness in
all our lives – times when there is neither sun, nor moon, nor stars in the
sky, and we stand still in fear, or grope, trembling.
few years ago there fell upon my life one of these seasons, in which I could
see neither to the right nor the left. A terror of darkness was upon me.
night I lay awake, thinking, thinking, until my brain grew wild with
uncertainty. I could not see a step in advance, and feared to move onward, lest
with the next footfall I should plunge into hopeless ruin. Very strongly was I
tempted to turn aside form the way in which I was going—a way reason and
conscience approved as right: but something held me back. Again and again I
took up and considered the difficulties of my situation, looking to the right
hand and the left for ways of extrication; inclining now to go in this
direction, and now in that; yet always held away form resolve by inner
convictions of right and duty, that grew clear at the moment when I was ready
to give up my hold on integrity. So the hours went, heavy – footed, until past midnight. My little daughter was sleeping in the
crib beside my bad. But now she began to move uneasily, and presently her timid
voice broke faintly: -
is it, darling? “ I asked.
papa, it is dark! Take Nellie’s hand! ” I reached out my hand and took her tiny
one in my own, clasping it firmly. A sigh of relief came up form her little
heart. All her loneliness and fear were gone, and in a few moments she was
sound asleep again.
my Father in heaven!” I cried, in a sudden, almost wild, outburst of feeling.
“It is dark very dark. Take my hand!”
great peace fell upon me. The terror of darkness was gone. “Keep hold of my
hand, O my Father!” I prayed fervently; “and though I should be called to walk
through the valley and the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Let not my
feet wander to the right nor to the left.”