Ever heard the Footprints poem? Ever been angered by the Footprints poem? I have.
Sometimes, I can look back into the places, spaces and times in my life when I’ve convinced myself that I KNEW God wasn’t there. He was ‘up there’ or over there, but not in here. Nowhere to be seen or felt. The only footprints in the sand were mine. I can recall every footprint…every step into and out of the depths my valleys…every blister, every thorn, every stone that I tripped over. I can even recall the rugged terrain my footprints traveled on…the twisting, winding, double backing at every fork in the road where I made a ‘wrong’ turn. And most of all, I can recall the numbness. The emptiness. The lack of awareness, the drain of strength. Yet it was in this numbness that I walked. I’ve often wondered, how do you go forward when you are numb? This poem, and more importantly the Bible tells me I’m never alone. He…the good, the just, the true is always with me, and never for a second loses sight or grip on me. I felt I was lacking a map, an agenda to tell me what to do and how to feel. Some might call it depression. I called it auto-pilot or survival mode.
Survival mode seems to be something of a norm these days. Without an anchor, we wake up, do this, do that, go here and there, work, play, go to bed…rinse…repeat. I’m willing to bet there is some small degree of numbness in most of us.
So where does this treacherous journey leave me? Alone…disappointed…in God?
We feel betrayed, even abandoned. Sometimes these feelings fester and need a place to grow, so we turn to God and say…how dare you. Creator of all, more powerful than anything…how could you let this happen?
I believe disappointment in God comes from not knowing the truths about who Jesus is and why he came.
Who is he exactly? Well my journey of discovering Jesus is probably just beginning. It had a rough start to be honest. I started from a place of indifference. It started as a victim of life, of sin…of choice. We learn about who Jesus is and how much he loves us, but maybe we take this image too far and project on him a God who will cover us in a veil of protection from anything bad. The bible dosen’t say that, in fact it says the opposite. John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It is a truth that this world is broken, he has prepared us for this. He asks us to take heart, but to only do so in him, for he has overcome the world.
He was in my numbness. My road may not have been easy, my map may have been absent…but on that trail there was a path. A line in one of my favorite songs, Forever Reign by One Sonic Society is “You are good, You are good, when there’s nothing good in me” Sometimes he works through you, even when you don’t feel in control or have strength to do life. He’s there…watching, waiting, stepping down and into my feet. As hard as my journey was, the bible tells me that Jesus felt every emotion and encountered every sin known to man while he was here. Did he stumble and fall? No. But he felt it…all the way to the cross. So the next time I feel like my savior has abandoned me, I’ll take a long look at his feet and the journey he took to save me.