Etty Hillesum was a young Jewish woman living in Amsterdam in 1942. During that time, the Nazis were arresting Jews and herding them off to concentration camps. As she awaited inevitable arrest, and with a fear of the unknown, she began to read the Bible—and met Jesus. She simply put her hand in God’s hand and found rare courage and confidence.

Etty wrote in her diary: “From all sides our destruction creeps up on us and soon the ring will be closed and no one at all will be able to come to our aid. But I don’t feel that I am in anybody’s clutches. I feel safe in God’s arms. And whether I am sitting at my beloved old desk in the Jewish district or in a labor camp under SS guards, I shall feel safe in God’s arms. For once you have begun to walk with God, you need only keep on walking with Him, and all of life becomes one long stroll.”

Etty was a living, courageous picture of the psalmist’s declaration: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. . . . What can flesh do to me?” (56:3-4). What a challenge for anyone plagued by fear!

As we sense the strength of God’s everlasting arms beneath us (Dt. 33:27), we can stroll through life with confidence, holding the hand of our unseen Companion.