You can tell a lot about someone’s footprints.
No, I don’t mean what type of shoes they wear or what size their feet are. Footprints can often tell us where someone’s been… and perhaps where they are going.
Where do you see footprints most often? Typically for our family, sandy army boot footprints make their way across my kitchen. Sometimes its wet puppy paws. When I was growing up, it footprints were left in the snow. Or on the back porch after doing cow chores outside. (You can imagine the “stuff” that was tracked in with THAT experience.)
As I woke up yesterday morning, I pondered this footprint concept when it comes to our walk with God. Most of us have heard the poem “Footprints” where a man dreams that he was walking with God along a beach. For most of the journey, there were two sets of prints– his and Gods. But at one point, there was only one set. Perplexed, the man questioned God. “Father, I though you said you would never leave or forsake me. But during the darkest times of my life, there’s only one set of footprints.” God’s reply? “My son, my precious child… It was then I carried you.”
Oh snap. Heard ya, Lord.
Just like our muddy/snowy/sandy/soggy footprints on the kitchen floor, we can tell a lot about our walk with God by looking at both His footprints and ours footprints on our path of life.
Picture the following images and think of examples from your own life:
One set of prints-– God carried us through the hard times. (For me, examples are induction into married army life, our miscarriage, other losses, challenges, dealing with the unknown.)
Our footprints are several steps ahead of Him– That’s when we are “helping” Him out, running before Him, not waiting on Him. (Uh, this was the majority of my early Christian walk. AKA, “I-get-what-I-want-when-I-want-it-ouch-I-tripped-and-fell-on-my-face.)
His steady footprints moving forward while our prints are a light, jagged, scuffed line– This could be when we are shuffling along, slower than normal, focusing on the icky-part of our journey or even being ungrateful. (Also, been there, done that– sometimes daily.)
His steady footprints are walking the path and ours are veering off, swirling around, backtracking. In this instance we are fighting for control, trying to find our own way. Or distracted. (Think: “OH LOOK SOMETHING SHINY!”)
His footprints face backwards and we see two long, deep lines in the sand/snow/mud… He has got ahold of us under the arms and around our chest (lovingly but firmly) and is dragging us along the path. (This image makes me laugh. Because it’s true. When we resist what is on the path up ahead, but He loves us enough to tug us along.)
His footprints have stopped, facing backwards… and there’s our round little keister mark in the sand. This is the point where we pout. We protest briefly, throwing our little humanly hissy fit when things don’t go our way. Fortunately, He waits it out– He doesn’t keep on walking or leave us behind. He waits.
Finally, we have the two pairs of footprints, His and ours, walking side by side… This is the ideal, when we are walking close to Him, strolling hand-in-hand. It is at this moment that we are most filled with His peace and understand (or at least embrace) the purpose He has for our lives.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve left all these prints with God at some point within my walk with Him. (Sometimes multiple ones all in a matter of days or hours!) Lately, I’ve been doing my best to reach that ideal– giving up control, completely depending on Him for EVERYTHING and walking side-by-side.
This is true in my marriage, life, motherhood-in-progress and ministry.
Which of these “prints” are you leaving with your walk with God today? Which of these images speak to you the most? Please don’t be shy– I would love to hear from your heart. Comment below if you feel so led.
God is calling us to walk with Him by His a sweet, sweet promise to NEVER leave or forsake us. Let’s walk with Him– and leave our own set of footprints.
He Walks with Me,
“I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it.” ~Job 23:11-12 MSG
PS: Speaking of walking side-by-side with God in ministry… He is taking me on a new path. I am blessed to have the opportunity to preach at two services (Rock Valley, IA and Seeds of Faith in Lester, IA) on Sunday, October 28th. If you are in the vicinity, we would love to see you there!!