TITLE: Footsteps in Our Lives 7/28/20
By Deborah Garner
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Not too long ago, I was chatting with my young granddaughter. She described how she had awakened from sleep the night before and was so frightened to see a towering figure standing in her doorway.
As it turned out, she hadn't heard her dad walk down the hallway to her room. So when she opened her eyes to see his imposing six-foot, five-inch frame filling the darkened doorway, he became an apparition. We laughed at how Daddy had inadvertently scared her witless.
She describes how she can recognize each member of her family as they approach her room by the sound of their footsteps. Brother walks fast, maybe even jogs, his feet full of energy. Mommy walks slower with lighter steps compared to the heavy thud of Daddy's booted feet.
With hindsight, I realized I should have explained that as she grows older, she will unconsciously catalog the sound of different footsteps passing through her life. There will be those who quickly walk on by instead of offering friendship; they will walk away rather than toward her when she needs them most. She will want to forget the loud stomp of the feet that bruise her heart or crush the fragile flowers in her field of dreams.
But then there will be those special people who walk along beside her, encouraging and supporting her.
People who will pray for her and hold her up when she falls. Theirs will become the footsteps she longs to hear.
I then considered that I should have told her that most importantly, she could learn to recognize the footsteps of her Savior. The Bible says the Lord hedges us in from behind and before, above and below.
Surely then He walks with us each step of the way. If we invite Him into our lives, He will make our paths straight and help us over obstacles and through dark valleys. He will corral the prowling lion and the wily serpent that seek us out.
I could have told her that when her burdens become heavy, and she can't carry them anymore, the Lord asks us to pile them in the cart and step into the yoke with Him. Because He is so big and we are so small, the weight of the yoke is on His shoulders, we are only required to be in step with Him.
Perhaps I could have read her the poem that tells of Jesus and a friend leaving footprints in the sand and that when His friend becomes exhausted, He carries her so that two sets of prints become one.
I do so want her to know that the Lord says He will never leave us nor forsake us. It's a promise. Our Savior never walks away from us. In the Bible story of the prodigal son, the father runs toward his child with open arms and welcomes him home.
In my mind, I can see pictures of firefighters carrying children out of burning buildings, of soldiers taking their dead comrades in their arms, of mothers cradling an infant that has been severely maimed by a bomb, tears running down their faces and then I think of how the Lord wants to hold us as we weep. He knows our pain. He says in His Word that He is well acquainted with grief and sorrow. I want to be sure and tell her that.
Lastly, I will implore my granddaughter to act wisely and walk away from the shadows but run toward the Son. I pray she will be attuned to the echo of His footsteps in the corridors of her mind and realize it's His footprints that mark the landscape of her soul.
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