Tuesday, March 6, 2012
FOOTPRINTS THROUGH THE DESERT VALLEY
The contemporary poem Footprints in the Sand was penned by a young teenage girl who lost her mother at age six, one year before the start of the Great Depression. This message has captured the imagination of countless people ever since. The popular poem describes a dream in which a person is walking on a beach with God. Upon looking back, the person sees two sets of footprints, but occasionally they dwindle to only one. The person noticed that it was during times of trial and hardship that only one set of footprints appeared. When questioning God if He had abandoned his follower during those times, God responded that “the times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you”.
Why do you suppose this poem has retained its popularity for so long? One possibility is that it has an interesting twist at the ending. And that twist gives us all pause to reflect when we think back on times of trial and hardship when we felt abandoned by God and life seemed rather daunting and hopeless. But we did manage to emerge on the other side more resilient and hardened to life’s slings and arrows than ever before. And most all of us can relate to seeing footprints in the sand on the beach near a large body of water, but I can also see the setting in a desert valley. Psalm 23 also resonates within us in that word picture as we now know that all the while our creator was with us through the shadows of that dark and ominous valley.