Daddy and I set out to explore a forest miles from home. We hiked uphill and down, arriving at last by an enchanting waterfall.
“Let’s stop here for lunch,” Daddy suggested. My empty stomach growled its approval.
We settled on a huge boulder, shaded by towering oaks.
“Here, Daughter, I made your favorite,” Daddy said, handing me a PP&J.
“Daddy, you’re the greatest!” I burbled like the creek running at our feet. “You always know what I like.”
Daddy grinned, and then lay on his back, stretching his long legs out with a contented sigh. The moment I swallowed my last bite, I joined him. Together, we stared up at the sky through the trees and absorbed the waterfall’s song.
Soon the warm sun had lulled me into a deep sleep, from which I awakened with a start. Something felt so wrong, but what?
I rolled toward Daddy only to discover a lizard sunning himself where Daddy was supposed to be.
I jumped to me feet in alarm. “Daddy, Daddy,” I screamed. “Where are you?”
After a few minutes of panicked noise, I realized I couldn’t raise a ruckus and hear Daddy at the same time. So I shut my mouth and listened with all my being.
At first I heard nothing. Then his cheerful whistle floated to me from across the creek. I leaped off the boulder, ready to run to him, but the swiftly moving water halted my eager progress. I began to fret. Why wasn’t my beloved daddy here to help me across this danger?
Deep in my being I heard that voice I knew so well. “Take your time and cross one stone at a time. Check your footing with each step.”
Determined to show Daddy I had learned to listen, I stepped onto the first stone. Stone by stone I crossed making my way to the other side. Once there, my feet flew in a victory jig while my fists pumped the air.
“I did it, I did it!” I shrieked. Suddenly I heard Daddy’s delighted laughter mingling with my own. I was off and running to find him, but he kept just out of sight. No longer frightened, I followed his laughter and whistles, pursuing him uphill and down, totally lost except for his wonderful voice.
At last, as I rounded another bend in the path, Daddy stood, arms spread wide to welcome me. A dazzling smile enveloped his face.
“Daddy, Daddy!” I cried, running into his firm embrace. “Why did you leave me all alone?”
“I knew you could do it, Daughter,” he said. Wasn’t the chase fun after you got over your fright? You knew as long as you stayed within the sound of my voice you could never be truly lost. You learned a valuable lesson today. I’m so proud of you!”
Truly you are a God who hides himself…Isaiah 45:15a
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