To my dear Grandchildren,
The story is told of some Native American Indian tribes and the 'rite of passage' to manhood each boy in those tribes went through when turning age 12.
When the day came that a boy was to go through this 'rite of passage', late in the afternoon his father led him alone deep into the forest. The boy likely would never before have been so far away from his village, and so deep in the thick, dense forest through which his father was leading him.
After a long trek through the almost impenetrable, dark forest the boy's father stopped in a small clearing. Indicating to his son that they were at their destination he told his son to sit down on a huge fallen log. As the boy sat down, his father carefully, but securely, blindfolded him. While he was doing that he explained to his son that he must sit there for the whole night. Only when the sun was rising and its rays of light began to seep into the dark forest was the boy to remove his blindfold.
His father continued the instructions - if he heard the unmistakable sounds of wolves, mountain lions, or even bear nearby, still he must not cry out for help. He was to sit, unmoving, without whimpering, groaning, sighing or speaking. His Father told him "once you survive this night, you will be a man." Reminding the boy that he could not tell the other boys in the village of his experience, his father was silent.
The boy sensed that he was now alone.
During the long night, he heard may noises which he was sure were wild animals prowling nearby. He thought other noises he heard were humans that were stealthily coming to harm him. The eerie sound the wind made as it blew through the trees was particularly unsettling to the boy. Yet he knew that to become a man he must stoically sit on the log and never give expression to the fear he felt inside.
Though the night with its unseen terrors seemed to the frightened, lonely young lad as though it would never end, the morning with its light and gentle breezes, finally came. The boy who had bravely endured that night, eagerly removed his blindfold.
The first thing he saw, sitting on the ground in front of him, was his father who had spent the night silently watching and guarding his boy from danger.
". . . He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).