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Too often I think I have to walk the ice alone.

A huge storm rolled through Iowa, coating everything in sight with a thick layer of ice—roads, trees, cars, street signs, and houses.

It was 1993, and I was in kindergarten. I regularly walked home from school with my big brother, Todd. The day of the ice storm, Todd burst through the front door of our house, yelling, “Mom! Mom! Help Laurel! She’s afraid of the ice and can’t walk home! She’s standing on the road crying!”

My mom scrambled to grab her boots and winter coat. “Go back to Laurel and keep her company,” she said. “Tell her I’ll be right there.”

Less than a minute later, Mom had her boots and coat on and walked out the door. To her surprise, she was greeted by Todd. “Laurel’s coming!” he told her.

Looking down the street, Mom saw me shuffling calmly and steadily towards home.

Mom walked as quickly as she could across the slippery ice to my side. As she approached, she was startled to see a look of pure serenity on my face. She knelt by my side, noting the remnants of the tears that had streamed down my cheeks moments earlier.

“Honey, are you okay?” Mom asked me.

“I prayed to Jesus, Mom,” I said, smiling peacefully. “And Jesus’ angels helped me get across the ice, so I wasn’t afraid anymore.”

When my mom told me this story recently, I was struck by what a wonderful picture it is of my relationship with God. Sometimes life feels a lot like slippery ice—when I feel like I keep falling and lose the will to try again. Or when uncertainty and ambiguity keep me frozen with fear, unable to take another step. Or when I feel the icy grip of anxiety around my heart.

As a 6-year-old, I depended on God and his angels to help me across the ice. And the truth is, I still need to completely depend on God to help me through the hard things in life.

As an adult, though, it can be difficult to have a mindset of daily dependence on God. I tend to think of myself as independent and self-reliant. For some reason, I tell myself in hard times that I need to figure things out on my own, “pull myself up by my bootstraps,” and carry on. Too often I think I have to walk the ice alone.

But—thank God!—that’s not true.

I have a relationship with Jesus Christ—the God who is with me in every storm. The One who is present with me in every difficult moment. The God who walks across the ice with me.

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