There’s a story of how the Cherokee would perform a right of passage for all boys before they were considered men. To become a man, the boy would be led into the woods at night. His father would sit him on a stump, blindfold Him and then leave him. He was told that he had to sit there all night, but he couldn’t make a sound. When he saw the sun rays through the blindfold, he could take it off and find his way back to camp.
It was tough to sit there silently. With their eyes covered, their sense of hearing was enhanced. They heard ever twig break as an animal stepped on it. They could hear the sounds of all the animals in the forest that were out at night. I’m sure they could hear the sound of their own heartbeat as they wondered whether they would be attacked. In the morning when he removed his blindfold, he would see that his father was sitting beside him the whole night watching over him.
I love that story because it’s so much like what our Heavenly Father does for us. We often feel blind and alone as we go through this world. Our fears can get the better of us if we aren’t careful, but God is right there with us through it all even though we can’t see Him. Isaiah 7:14 says, “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)” (NLT).
Immanuel is one of my favorite names for God. It gives me hope when I feel blindfolded as I go through this life. When I’m unsure of how things are going to turn out, and I feel vulnerable and open to attack, I remind myself that God is right there with me. He’s watching over me, protecting me and caring for me. He has never left my side no matter how dark the night has been. He remains true to His name Immanuel. He is God with us.