“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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Job answered:

Today my complaint is again bitter; my strength is weighed down because of my groaning. Oh, that I could know how to find him— come to his dwelling place; I would lay out my case before him, fill my mouth with arguments, know the words with which he would answer, understand what he would say to me. Would he contend with me through brute force? No, he would surely listen to me. There those who do the right thing can argue with him; I could escape from my judge forever.

Job 23:1-7

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I wanted a car when I was barely old enough for a permit. My parents said no. I begged. They said no still. I made lists of ways that it would be helpful to them if I had a car, even volunteering to chauffeur my little brother. They insisted no. I kept mounting my case for a car of my very own, but they refused to hear my plea. I insisted, they stood their ground. I whined, they ignored me. I became mad, they replied with, “Precisely why you don’t deserve one.” I learned I’d make a terrible lawyer and that I’d never get a car at fifteen.

Suffice it to say, adults do really care about us. Likewise with Job and his case about God. After begging and pleading, Job just wanted to see God so he’d stop feeling ignored. Recall when you’ve built a case for something you wanted. Was your motive selfish or selfless? Maybe, just maybe, God knows what’s best for us, choosing to ignore our egocentric demands for good and kind hearts instead.

Katie Barrett Todd

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God of all wisdom, remind me today that you know best. Break my heart of prideful motives so that I may live more fully into your desires for my life. Humbly I pray, 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.

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