When I was a little girl, I would visit my grandmother. Her house was a bit small, but it was just her living there. I loved it because everything in it seemed old. The light switches were old, the fixtures were old, the carpets were old. Everything seemed like it was purchased in the 1950s.
One thing I distinctly remember was a framed poem; you know, the kind with a picture – and the picture was of the same thing as the title of the poem, footprints in the sand.
FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to him, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life, there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.:
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during
the most troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you the most you would leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then I carried you."
Every once in a while, I need to be reminded of this. I need to be reminded that during the dark, hard times, God is there. I find it interesting that people pull away from God at the tough times. Sometimes.
Some people use God as a rabbit's foot, saying, "God, please give me the wisdom to pick these six numbers for PowerBall. But we have been using God that way for so long – think of Moses, holding up his arms, rubbing that lucky rabbit's foot so his army would defeat the Amalekites. And we are led to believe that if Aaron and Hur had not been on that mountain, holding up Moses' arms when he grew tired, that the Amalekites would have been victorious. Not quite the same as picking those six numbers, but I see more similarities than differences (not sure if the odds were the same).
It is funny, though, because I get the impression that it matters little to God why we pray to him. It seems to be for our benefit, not his. And if stroking a rabbit's foot is the first step in your discernment process, I think it makes little difference. I mean, its not like you are worshiping false idols or eating shellfish.
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