“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!

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Therefore, let’s make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience, because God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. No creature is hidden from it, but rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer.

Hebrews 4:11-13

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In swimming there are sprinters and distance swimmers. (I’m sure it’s this way in track and field, too.) Some are built for speed while others love the longer events. I was a sprinter, so when my coach assigned longer distance practices, I usually rolled my eyes and tried to skip out on laps. Unfortunately, my coach knew my meet times and therefore approximately what my practice times should be. So, when I completed the distance sets faster than I should have, my coach knew I’d lied to him. Usually there was a punishment set that followed.

The Word of God is not punishment, but a sharp sword is something that would make me think twice about my choices. The living voice of God instructs our minds and motivates our hearts. While we should be required to answer for all of our behaviors, God’s Son offers grace that passes understanding. That means, we are forgiven. It means, too, that we respond by striving to live thankfully, realizing that there is no hiding anything from God.

Katie Barrett Todd

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Thank you Lord, for desiring the best of me. Your grace challenges me to be better. I can’t hide from you, so grant me the strength and courage to live a life that makes you proud to claim me as your beloved child. I need your guidance, Lord. Amen.

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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.

Amazing Grace

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