One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
– by Mary Stevenson
Perhaps there isn’t a human alive who hasn’t read Mary Stevenson’s poem “Footprints in the sand.” I certainly remember the first time I read this beautiful poem and how God’s love was powerfully illustrated in words.
As I was driving home from work the other day, I thought about this poem as the Lord showed me the revelation of His grace in “Footprints in the sand.” Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to share this revelation with you.
Mary Stevenson beautifully captured the raw emotions of the disappointment we feel when let down or left all alone in the mist of our trials. That feeling of “I thought you had my back” or “You failed me.” We’ve all been there a time or two.
However, in the mist of disappointment, the writer elevates the perception of disappointment into God’s perspective by showing how God is always with us even when we cannot see or feel his presence.
I love how the poem illustrates the power and presence of God’s grace as He lovingly carries us through life. In John 16:32-33 Jesus told His disciples “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus knew during the hour of trouble his disciples who said they would follow him to the ends of the earth and even die for him would promptly abandon him. He knew that the twelve who saw miracle after miracle would deny ever knowing the savior of the world.
However, Jesus knew He was not alone for the Father was with him. Just like the Father was with Jesus during tribulation, so is Jesus with you in your hour of need. We are encouraged by Jesus to take courage for He has overcome the world. We are encouraged by the fact that Jesus spoke these things so we may have peace in Him and not ourselves. Now, that is grace.
I see the footprints of grace in Jesus’ words as He says, “I have overcome the world.” No need to take up the burden of making right the wrongs of a fallen world due to Adam’s sin, Jesus paid the price by being crucified on a cross.
No need to bear the burden of condemnation, Jesus rendered the verdict of “not guilty” for Romans 8:1 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
No need to take another step in the sands of earning your goodness or place of perceived right standing in Christ for Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “for by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast…”
You see, over 2,000 years ago the Lord of lords, and King of kings who spoke and all things became, has lavished His uncompromising grace upon a fallen world that was worthy of death.
Therefore, as we look back upon the fall of Adam we must see how God lovingly carried the existence of His children. When Adam and Eve saw multiple footprints in the Garden of Eden all was well. Once God banished them from the Garden of Eden, they only saw lone footprints.
My friends, the same God who promised in Hebrews 13:5 that “I will never leave nor forsake you” is the same God who has provided the carrying grace from Adam until now. That same grace covers past, present and future generations beyond the measures of time, for with God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (1 Peter 3:8).
My prayer is as you look back upon the times of your life, you will see the footprints of God’s grace as He lovingly carried you through the best and worst of times. It is by His grace that we are saved, a free gift paid for by the blood of Jesus. To God be the glory, amen!
To God be the glory, amen!