I knew the Footprints in the Sand poem before I ever read the bible. My grandma had a version of the famous poem in her home. We didn’t go to church, but small glimpses of who God is were a part of my childhood. Many years later, as an adult and a Christian, my husband and children bought me a bible cover with the Footprints poem etched in it. It was a full circle: from a seed of hope planted in my heart as a child, to a woman of God empowered by His word. I could truly look back on my life and see the stretches of one set of footprints, and know that God was carrying me during those most difficult times.
Wouldn’t it be nice to write, “happily ever after,” after that moment of enlightenment? But of course, that’s not the way it works.
Honestly, the poem has graced the cover of my study bible with barely a glimpse at its words for the last several years. During this time, passage after passage in my bible has been highlighted, underlined, bracketed. My understanding of God has deepened, rooted, grown. During trials I have turned to Psalms and familiar passages for comfort and guidance.
A current trial has knocked me off my feet, sent my arms flailing. The highlights and red marks in my bible have blurred through the veil of my tears. . . until I was finally led to a previously unmarked passage of scripture. Psalm 77:19:
Your path led through the sea
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
Invisible footprints. The psalmist was referring to God parting the Red Sea for the Israelites to escape the Egyptian army, but the psalm in its entirety is about being comforted through the hard times by remembering what God has done in the past.
For the first time in years, I read the Footprints poem on the front of my bible. I remembered the seed planted in my youth, nurtured through my adulthood. I remembered all the impossible things God has carried me through.
Though I may be in a situation that looks daunting, He is parting the mighty waters and creating a path to freedom and peace.
One set of footprints, but never alone.
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