My father, Parley W. Newman, served as a paratrooper in World War II. On more than one occasion, he parachuted behind enemy lines in the South Pacific and was under fire. He lost close friends in combat and was eventually wounded himself.
When I was a child, I suffered from excessive fears over the evils that exist in the world. My good parents made great efforts to help me overcome those fears, but the fears persisted.
One night, my father came into my room and told me of the tremendous fear he had daily experienced during the war—an entirely justifiable fear in the face of real and imminent danger. He told me that throughout his time in the war, he carried with him a verse of scripture printed on a card and received comfort from the promise of that verse. He then handed me a card on which he had printed that same scripture, Joshua 1:9.
I slept that night—and for many nights—with that card under my pillow and carried it with me, as my father had, until I no longer needed the card itself, for the Lord’s promise in that verse was imprinted on my mind and heart. My father’s gift of the Lord’s words was the beginning of my learning to replace fear with faith.
As a young woman I searched the scriptures for similar promises and assurances of the Lord and relied upon them with all my heart. I still do. In time, I arranged some of those scriptural promises into a poetic text that my brother, Mark, has set to music—music intended to convey both the power and peace of these promises.