[A Sign from God] 2006-01-09 - Footprints

Pt. 2 from Valley of Weeping

Based on the Psalm 84:5-13

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'd like to share with you an image I always have in my mind when I'm going through my trials. I understand everyone's vision will be different. I simply hope to encourage you by sharing mine.

The intricately layered and hills and valleys of sand surround me in this vast and lonely terrain. Whether it be night or day, it's always the same; I'm walking through this desert. How did I get here anyway? Well, once I hit the Valley of Weeping, it led me straight here - and boy has it been tough going ever since! All I have to do is keep moving, dig a well, and not set up camp. I take one last look around at the enormity of it all, knowing full well, that I can not accomplish this without God's help, take a deep breath, and start walking.

At first it's rough, and I'm a little thirsty, but I'm ok, after all, I have the Word of God walking right beside me and He has all of the Bread and Water I need. However, as I continue further into this seemingly infinite dust bowl, my gusto for conquering this trial begins to lag. I become tired and sand-blasted by those unexpected sand storms. I become wounded and need time to rest and heal. Jesus, Himself, binds up my wounds and takes care of me. Watching over me until I'm ready. Ready for what, you may ask? He waits patiently for me to tell him I'm ready to move, but cannot walk myself yet at all. I need His help. I need Him to carry me.

As my ever-watchful caretaker hoists me up in His arms and begins to walk with me, I can easily look behind me to see His footprints faithfully following us. I can relax now and allow myself to heal. As time progresses and I begin to heal, Jesus stops, put me down, and together we continue, much slower this time, as the crutches I'm using are awkward here in this desolate, lonely place. Eventually my crutches become a cane, and in due course, that too is cast aside.

Once again, we are walking together, side by side. This time as I look back, I can see that my steps have returned along with His to track us. Gradually as I grow in strength, Jesus begins to fall behind, all the while keeping His Presence with me. He's allowing me to walk through my Valley of Weeping, until once again, brought down by the struggles and strife, incapability befalls me, and I cry out to Him.

Jesus never tires of helping us or walking with us. He wants us to walk when we can, as long as we remember to keep His presence with us. But He also doesn't want us to "set up cam," as Pastor Phil Daniels of Niceville (Florida) Assembly of God stated. He's more than willing to bandage our wounds, care for us, and carry us as well… just as long as we continue to move.

Father, please help us to remember not to "set up camp" in the midst of our Valleys of Weeping. When we can no longer continue, give us the strength, courage, and humbleness to ask those simple words, "Please carry me." Remind us that although You allow us to walk on our own, Your presence is ever with us, & You are prepared to meet all of our needs.

In Jesus Precious name, we pray. amen!

Footprints Poem can be found at http://www.markhargrave.com/index_012.htm

Comments or Questions?

[email cheryl] botwbld@cfdevotionals.org