“Now we will say good-night and not stand and dispute any longer, my dear sister,” said the Major, holding out his hand, “we will both try to remember the words of the verse—’God knows the best to send.’”
“Yes, yes, I’ll remember. Only don’t take cold going across the street, and step very softly as you go down the stairs, and Dora, do you hear! Close the door very gently, and Karl, be careful of the draught, as you cross the street!”
While the good irritating Aunt was calling after them all these unnecessary cautions, Dora and her father had gone down the stairs and had softly closed the house-door. They had only a narrow alley to cross to reach their own rooms opposite.
The next afternoon, as Dora and her father seated themselves on their favorite bench under the lindens, the child asked,
“Papa, is it possible that Aunt Ninette never knew the verse you repeated to her last night?”
“Oh yes, my child, she has always known the lines,” replied the Major. “It is only for the moment that your good aunt allows herself to be so overwhelmed with care and worry as to forget who governs all wisely. She is a good woman, and in her heart she places her trust in God’s goodness. She soon comes to herself again.”
Dora was silent for a while, and then she said thoughtfully,
“Papa, how can we help being ‘overwhelmed with care and worry?’ and ‘killed with anxiety,’ as Aunt Ninette said.”
“By always remembering that everything comes to us from the good God, my dear child. When we are happy, we must think of Him and thank Him; when sorrow comes we must not be frightened and distressed, for we know that the good God sends it, and that it will be for our good. So we shall never be ‘overwhelmed with care and worry,’ for even when some bitter trouble comes, in which we can see no help nor escape, we know that God can bring good out of what seems to us wholly evil. Will you try to think of this, my child? for sorrow comes to all, and you will not escape it more than another. But God will help you if you put your trust in Him.”
“Yes, I understand you, papa, and I will try to do as you say. It is far better to trust in God, than to let one’s self be overwhelmed with care and worry.’”
“But we must not forget,” continued her father, after a pause, “that we must not only think of God, when something special happens, but in everything that we do, we must strive to act according to His holy will. If we never think of Him, except when we are unhappy, we shall not then be able easily to find the way to him, and that is the greatest grief of all.”
Dora repeated that she would ask God to keep her in the right way, and as she spoke, her father softly stroked her hand, as it lay in his. He did not speak again for a long time, but his eyes rested so lovingly and protectingly on his little girl, that she felt as if folded in a tender and strengthening embrace.