“I’ll Walk beside You,” Friend, June 2010, 36–37
“But, Pa, I’m bigger now! See?” Joshua said as he stood on his tiptoes.
“I do see how big you are,” Pa said. “Come over here to the measuring wall. We’ll measure again.”
Joshua ran over to the measuring wall and stood as tall as he could. Pa took a pencil and put a mark on the wall just above Joshua’s head. It was a little higher than the last one.
“Well, I’ll be!” Pa said. “You’ve grown one-eighth of an inch!”
“I knew it! Can I ride Dugan today?” Joshua asked as he jumped up and down.
“I think you just might be big enough to ride the horse,” Papa said.
Joshua was so excited! He went to the corrals with Pa and watched as Pa put a bridle and harness on Dugan.
“Why didn’t you put a saddle on her?” Joshua asked.
“Because today we have work to do with her,” Pa explained. “We are building a fence. You and Dugan will get to help.”
“Really? How?” Joshua asked.
“We will put a chain around the poles that are in that pile by the barn. Then we will hook them to the harness on Dugan and she will pull the poles where they need to go,” Pa said.
Joshua sat on the fence as Pa put a chain around the poles. He looked at Dugan. “She is a really big horse,” he thought. He began to feel nervous.
Pa finished chaining the last pole. “Ready, Joshua? Come over here and I’ll lift you up.”
Joshua climbed down the fence slowly and walked over to Pa with his head hung low.
“What’s the matter? Have you changed your mind?” Pa asked.
“Maybe I better wait until tomorrow,” Joshua mumbled. “I’ll be even bigger then.”
“I bet you won’t be scared anymore after you get on the horse. I won’t let you get hurt. I’ll walk beside you and lead Dugan to the place where we unload the poles,” Pa said.
“Really? You’ll be with me?” Joshua asked.
“You bet I will,” Pa said. He reached down and lifted Joshua onto Dugan’s back in one big swoosh.
“Wow! Look how high I am!” Joshua said. He grinned from ear to ear.
As he rode, Joshua looked at Pa. He realized that Heavenly Father would always be there to help him too. He would lift him up. He would walk beside him. And knowing that, Joshua could do anything—even ride a really big horse.