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  • Writer's pictureAmy L Harden

I Am With You Always

Updated: Jun 27

Girl with bible
I will always be with you. Adobe Stock

The terror was the same as my first time diving into a pool when I was ten years old. I was petrified of the deep end. As I fell asleep every night, I felt like I was at the edge of a diving board. I wrestled with fear and negotiated with courage. Once I hit the water, courage told me to reach for the top to get air, but like a rock, I sank. My brain flipped to fear—I was going to drown. I’m going to die! This was my nightly routine after a long illness when I was 13 years old. I would jerk awake, my heart raced, and I gasped for air. I was scared to death of death and that I would die alone.

 

Terrified, tearful, and in sweat-soaked pajamas, I ran into my parent’s bedroom, telling them I was too scared to sleep. My no-nonsense mother told me it was too late for these types of shenanigans and to go back to sleep, but my father got up, put on his bathrobe, grabbed his Bible, and walked me back to my room. After I settled back into bed, he pulled up a chair and sat.

 

He rested his hands on top of his bible. “So, what is it that scares you?”

 

“I’m scared I will die in my sleep,” I said.

 

“Well, you prayed and asked God to watch over you, right?”

 

I nodded.

 

“God tells us, ‘I will never leave or forsake you.’ You can believe this.” He said, opening his Bible. “Now close your eyes and go to sleep. I’m here. If you start to die, I’ll wake you up.” He gave me a wink and began to read.


Each night, my father silently sat vigil and read his Bible while I tried not to fall into the abyss of death and eventually fall asleep.

 

After two weeks of sitting by my side while I fell asleep, my father entered my room but didn’t sit.

 

“I can’t stay by your bed until you fall asleep anymore.” He handed me a small piece of paper and my Bible. “Here is a list of scriptures that should give you courage. If they don’t help, read your Bible—start at the beginning.”

 

Matthew 28:20b
Mattityahu 28: 20b

“How is this supposed to help?”

 

“If these scriptures or reading your Bible doesn’t help,” he said as he slowly began to close my bedroom door, “then you’ll be so bored you’ll fall asleep and not realize it.” My door shut with a click.

 

In my father’s distinctive left-hand scrawl were four scriptures, not written out on purpose. He knew I wouldn’t look them up if he wrote them out. I sighed deeply and dove in with the first scripture.

 

 “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.”

(Deuteronomy 31:6, CSB)

 

Don’t be afraid was easy for the Lord to say. He was God. I was not convinced.

 

Psalms 34:4, the Lord said he would rescue me if I searched him out through prayer.


Okay, I can pray.

 

Joshua 1:9, the Lord gave me strength and courage, reminding me not to be afraid or discouraged.


How could I not be discouraged? I was tired and felt alone.

 

Matthew 28:20 was the kicker. Jesus was “with me always, even till the end of the age.”


What? Is he always with me?

 

Yes.

 

Leaning back on my pillow, I felt a sense of peace and the Lord’s presence, just like when my father sat beside my bed. God, the Father, was there. I was no longer afraid to sleep or die. Yet, sleep still alluded me. I opened my Bible and started at the beginning. I don’t think I got past the first chapter of Genesis.

 

I’ve leaned on these scriptures my father gave me throughout my life. Our Lord has proven he will not leave or abandon me. He rescued me when I was lost and calmed my spirit when I was afraid. Reassurance of God’s presence was a gift from my father—a gift I cherish and pass on.


Prayer:

Adonai, King of the Universe, hear our prayers throughout the day, and when we go to rest, we rely on the words of Yeshua in the reassurance that you will never abandon us even until the end of the age. Amen.



Amy L Harden Writer
Amy L. Harden

Amy L. Harden is the creator of the inspirational and encouraging Facebook pages “Postcards from Oz: Life on the Yellow Brick Road,” “Looking for Footprints in the Sand,” and “Women in Life Crisis.” She served in the U.S. Navy as a Radio & Television Broadcast Journalist. Amy’s faith in the Lord is the foundation for her life as an author, wife, mother of five grown children, and Nanny to seven wonderful grandchildren. She has written for Guideposts, Focus on the Family, other online websites, and blogs. Amy is presently working on her first novel. Connect with Amy on Facebook and Instagram or visit her website – AmyLHarden.com.

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