When I was in grade school we had no TV at home, so I would often spend my time reading, especially if it was raining or cold outside. My favorite books had to do with the settling of America that included pioneer and American Indian stories. One of my favorite authors was Zane Grey. So when I read this story, it brought back childhood memories. I hope the lesson it teaches will resonate with you as well.

It’s the legend of how young Cherokee Indian boys go through the rite of passage to become a man? For any Cherokee lad, his father would take him into the forest, blindfold him and leave him sitting alone on a tree stump the whole night. He was not to remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He could not cry out for help to anyone. If he survives the night, he became a MAN.

But he was forbidden to tell the other boys of his experience because each lad must come into manhood on his own. As the boy sat there in the dark cold night, he was naturally terrified. He could hear all kinds of noises echoing through the forest. Surely, he thought, wild animals must surely be all around watching him. Maybe even some human might find him and do him harm.

As the wind blew swaying the trees, he could feel objects blow across his feet as he sat like a statue on the tree stump. But he did not let it frighten him, he never removed the blindfold. He had to grit his teeth and hold out because it was the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night, the sun rays came shining through the tree branches. He knew then it was alright to remove his blindfold. When he did, he discovered his father sitting on the stump right next to him. He had been there watching him the entire night, protecting his son from any harm.

What an appropriate illustration of how all of us grow up from being children of God into men and women of God. This is like a Christian’s rite of passage for all of us. Although at times, we feel like that boy, all alone in the dark without no one around to help us. But in fact, we are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, sitting right beside us. When trouble comes and we grow frightened, that’s when He reaches out to us to let us know He’s right there. Just because you can’t see God, doesn’t mean He is not there. That’s why the Apostle Paul said that we walk by faith, not by sight.1 – Dr. Robert R Seyda

1 2 Corinthians 5:7

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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