He was a strong man facing an enemy beyond his strength. His young wife had become gravely ill, then suddenly passed away, leaving the big man alone with a wide-eyed, flaxen-haired girl, not quite five years old.
The service in the village chapel was simple, and heavy with grief. After the burial at the small cemetery, the man's neighbors gathered around him. "Please, bring your little girl and stay with us for several days," someone said. "You shouldn't go back home just yet."
Broken-hearted though he was, the man answered, "Thank you, friends, for the kind offer. But we need to go back home...where she was. My baby and I must face this."
So they returned, the big man and his little girl, to what now seemed an empty, lifeless house. The man brought his daughter's little bed into his room, so they could face the first dark night together.
As the minutes slipped by that night, the young girl was having a dreadful time trying to sleep...and so was her father. What could pierce a man's heart deeper than a child sobbing for a mother who would never come back?
Long into the night the little one continued to weep. The big man reached down into her bed and tried to comfort her as best he could. After a while, the little girl managed to stop crying...but only out of sorrow for her father. Thinking his daughter was asleeep, the father looked up and said brokenly, "I trust You, Father, but...it's as dark as midnight!" Hearing her dad's prayer, the little girl began to cry again..."I thought you were asleep, baby," he said. "Papa, I did try. I was sorry for you. I did try. But.....I couldn't go to sleep. Papa, did you ever know it could be so dark? Why Papa? I can't even see you, it's so dark." Then, through her tears, the little girl whispered, "But you love me even if it's dark...don't you, Papa?" For an answer, the big man reached across his massive chest, and held her, until at last she fell asleep.
When she was finally quiet, he began to pray. He took his little daughter's cry to him, and passed it up to God.
"Father, it's dark as midnight. I can't see You at all. But You love me, even when it's dark and I can't see, don't You?"
From that blackest of hours, the Lord touched him with new strength, enabling him to carry on. He knew that God went on loving him, even in the dark.
By: Ron Mehl
(Taken from Stories For the Heart)