“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
Mary Stevenson, "Footprints in the Sand," 1936
In our hardest of times it is often difficult to recognize God’s presence. The Lord is carrying us on our journey of faith. We do not walk alone!next >
All who see me make fun of me— they gape, shaking their heads: “He committed himself to the Lord, so let God rescue him; let God deliver him because God likes him so much.”
But you are the one who pulled me from the womb, placing me safely at my mother’s breasts. I was thrown on you from birth; you’ve been my God since I was in my mother’s womb. Please don’t be far from me, because trouble is near and there’s no one to help.
Many bulls surround me; mighty bulls from Bashan encircle me. They open their mouths at me like a lion ripping and roaring! I’m poured out like water. All my bones have fallen apart. My heart is like wax; it melts inside me. My strength is dried up like a piece of broken pottery. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you’ve set me down in the dirt of death.
Psalm 22:7-15next >
At one point in our lives or another we’ve all been a party to teasing, whether we’ve been on the giving end or the receiving end. We’ve been picked on or have done the picking. It’s especially common in school and on our sports teams. Someone doesn’t wear the latest fashion in clothes. Someone is the slowest runner on the track team. Someone wants to join the choir but can’t sing like a pop star. Someone’s handwriting isn’t pretty. Someone has the wrong color hair. Someone else rides the bus instead of driving to school.
The Psalmist feels like people are picking on him and no one seems to care. He recognizes that he’s a child of God, but that doesn’t seem to make the mockery any better when the words are zinged in his direction. When have you seen belittling? What did you do to stop it? How did you breathe life back into the person who was hurt?
You are precious to God, no matter what the others might say! You are loved!
Katie Barrett Toddnext >
Creator God, I am yours, and you love me. When others mock me, help me to remember just how precious I am to you. Help me also to forgive those who hurt me and ask for forgiveness of those I’ve wronged. Finally, remind me to be thankful for your love. With thanksgiving, amen.next >
The “Footprints” poem ends with: The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
Go, remembering that God is always with you. Be blessed this day, opening your eyes to gaze upon the glory of the Lord. And remind others who seem to be asking similar questions, that Christ lives in you!
Katie Barrett Todd
Rev. Katie Barrett Todd is Associate University Minister at Nebraska Wesleyan University and an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She holds an M.Div and MACE from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Katie has served churches and campus ministries in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky. She currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband, a youth and young adult pastor in a local congregation, and her two toddler children.
Clay Mottley - claymottley.com