Recently, I have been thinking about the ocean quite a bit, mostly because I wish I were there right now. Amidst the unpredictable but never warm winter weather that we are currently living in, I have been dreaming about the months ahead that I will hopefully be found on a beach somewhere, enjoying the breathtaking scenery. A few years ago while on vacation I looked out from the beach onto the horizon, where the sunrise would soon take place. The popular poem “Footprints in the Sand” came to my mind. I started to think about the message that poem carries with it, and I began to think about how it applies to my life. I have included it below for those who may not be familiar with it or who may not have really taken the time to find the meaning in it. Please read it right now and think about how it relates to you.
Footprints in the Sand
by Mary Stevenson
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it: “LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.”
The LORD replied: “My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
I think that there are so many times when we feel lost, like we are all alone. Sometimes I feel like I’m just struggling to keep my head above water. This is simply not and should not be the case. I am never alone; you are never alone. Our Lord is with us every step of the way, creating the paths ahead for each of us if we would just seek His Will for our lives.
I like to make lists of everything before I act. Grocery lists, personal to-dos, and work tasks that I know I need to accomplish. I am afraid that sometimes I find myself consulting only myself when creating those lists and other decisions for my life. I seem to be making my own footsteps, wherever that may lead me. Why do I do this, I ask myself? I speak often in these devotions about being busy all the time and always have a place to be that we just don’t take time to listen or to see where God’s footsteps are leading us. The truth is, wherever He leads us, we MUST follow no matter what.Following in our own footsteps can take us to places we don’t even want to know, but looking ahead to God’s all-knowing and perfect footsteps can lead us to places we can not even dream of.
I cannot even begin to think of how many verses are recorded that Jesus so simply and plainly says to follow Him. In Luke 18:22, Jesus says, “Come, follow me.” Honestly, there are countless verses in God’s Word that tell of His constant faithfulness to be by our sides, in front of us, or even carrying us. It is so uplifting and encouraging in knowing this.
Today I encourage you to find a verse that truly touches you heart and inspires you to let God guide you in everything you do. Once you have chosen the very verse that speaks to your life, learn it and say it many times each day until you are found truly living that verse. One piece of scripture that I think is absolutely beautiful is Isaiah 43:2, which says, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Don’t make your own footsteps; God’s ever-faithful, perfect ones are right in front of you, patiently awaiting for your foot to rest in them.