“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!
My God! My God, why have you left me all alone? Why are you so far from saving me— so far from my anguished groans? My God, I cry out during the day, but you don’t answer; even at nighttime I don’t stop.
You are the holy one, enthroned. You are Israel’s praise.
Our ancestors trusted you— they trusted you and you rescued them; they cried out to you and they were saved; they trusted you and they weren’t ashamed.
But I’m just a worm, less than human; insulted by one person, despised by another.
As a kid I liked to hide from my parents. It was fun to run off alone and wait to see if they could find me. I felt clever as I sought my hiding spaces. I’d hear them searching, calling my name, pretending to not know where I was while I buried my laughs in my shirt so they wouldn’t hear me. Hide and seek was great fun when it was just a game.
Sometimes it feels like God is playing hide and seek with us. We are walking around calling out the Lord’s name, wondering where is God. But it’s not enjoyable feeling like God’s run off and hidden from us, is it? Think of a time when life was overwhelming, and you didn’t want to play games, but know that God was right there. Did you feel like the Psalmist? God is really always there with us, but the times when we feel detached may help us to appreciate the blessing of an ever-present God in our life.
Katie Barrett Todd
God of presence, I know that you’re always there, but I don’t like when I can’t feel you immediately. I pray for open eyes, ears, and heart to recognize your presence in all that I do, say, and experience. In your name, amen.
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!