Dick Sheppard served as a chaplain in the British army during World War I. One night he was lying in the dense blackness of no man’s land when he heard footsteps approaching. Unable to see who it might be, he was tempted to cry out, “Friend or foe?”

Years later, on another dark night back in his homeland, Dick remembered that experience as he gazed up into the sky and wondered about the God of the universe. Again he felt like calling out, “Friend or foe?”

Often in the blackness of some bewildering trial, unable to discern God’s purposes, we are tempted to question His goodness. Some even wonder whether there is a God; and if there is, whether He cares for us.

We who believe the Bible know that the almighty, eternal Creator has revealed Himself as a loving Father, and that He infinitely cares for us. And through His Son, He has shown Himself to be a Friend of sinners (Mt. 11:19). When in faith anyone accepts the sin-atoning sacrifice of Jesus, that person receives the promise that he will never be forsaken by God (Heb. 13:5). What a privilege to know in our darkest moment that when we cry out, “Friend or foe?” Jesus answers, “I am your ever-present Friend!”