When I think of how tender and compassionate God was toward me during the time I went home to bury my mother, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by His goodness and mercy. At a time when I most needed comfort, He was right there beside me, holding me, whispering in my ear, “Don’t worry, Nicky. Your mother is with me.” I found greater shelter and solace in the arms of God than I could have ever found on earth.

In my hour of need, I crawled into the heart of Christ, and He embraced me, as He has always done during dark and lonely moments. This is the relationship I have with Jesus. It is how He lets me know how much He cares for me—how He cares for all those who depend on Him. For those who love Him and accept Him as the Brother.

It reminds me of when my children were very small. There were times when they were playing on the carpet and they would hurt their finger on a toy. They’d start to cry, and I would go over to see what had happened. I’d bend down and extend my arms and say, “Come see Daddy. Let me kiss the hurt.”

They would immediately crawl toward me and let me lift them onto my lap. And then I would hold them, kiss them, and comfort them. “Don’t worry,” I’d whisper softly into their ear. “Daddy is here. Everything will be all right.”

That’s the kind of relationship He wants each of us to have with Him. That’s the kind of God we serve. His compassion runs deep and wide and knows no limits. His love is as real and vibrant as the morning mist or the evening sky. “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge,” David wrote. “Be my rock of refuge, to which I always go. . . . From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you” (Psalm 71:1, 3, 6).

David understood that without God’s mercy and compassion, his life would not be worth living. He didn’t just serve the God of the universe; he had a real relationship with a loving and gracious Father. That’s what set him apart from other kings and Jews of the day. That’s what endeared him to God so powerfully.

And that’s how God wants all of His children to see Him.

Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.