Winding down a sun-drenched afternoon of boating, we tied up at the marina for dinner on the pier. As we waited for our dinner to arrive, we talked and laughed about all of our past boating experiences. The balmy summer afternoon slipped loosely to a cool dusk, and the lake calmly absorbed what was left of the bright crimson sunset.

The small boys on our crew became fascinated with watching ducks and fish flocking to the side of the pier searching for food. Other kids at the marina were throwing in table scraps, and they watched as the ducks raced to each piece as if magnetized by them. As we fully expected, the two older boys hurried through their dinner so that they could join the other kids. With a stern command to stay away from the edge of the pier, their Mom hesitantly let them go. After all, they were only a couple of feet away.

As we reminisced over the fun of the day, we looked up and saw the oldest of the boys walking back to us. "Where's your brother?" His mother asked almost frantically as she envisioned her five-year-old falling into the deep lake. Without waiting for an answer, she instinctively jumped from the table and rounded the corner. We could hear her sigh of relief when she saw that he was safely holding his Daddy's hand, watching the fish swimming below. She knew that everything was okay. His Dad had been right there beside him all along.

It was a simple occurrence, yet a profound visual reminder to me. Just the next day as I talked to a dear friend, I saw God's message. For weeks, we have helplessly watched as she and her family have experienced the deepest struggle of their lives. With all the cards and books and phone calls that we can possibly send them, we all still feel powerless. We fear that they feel alone.

He's been there since the beginning and He always will be.
God showed me what He longs for us to know. Through her deeply rooted faith and her hope in the Lord, I was reminded — and can easily see now — that our Heavenly Father is standing right beside her throughout her trials. He's been there since the beginning and He always will be, making sure that his precious child is safe and protected.

Our Father is in our past, wiping away our past mistakes. He's in our future, placing stepping-stones for our path. He's in our present, walking however slowly we might need to walk today ... holding our hand all the way. "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)