Friday, December 7, 2012

Never Alone

Do you feel like you're carrying the world on your shoulders? Do you feel like you're facing difficult times alone? It happens to the best of us. We feel like God has abandoned us when we need Him most. But the truth is....He has never left our side.

In second or third grade, I remember my teacher telling our class about the Footprints in the sand:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
‘You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?’

The Lord replied,
‘The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.’

-Mary Stevenson

During times of trial, we sometimes can't help but fall to the ground. Humans were never made to face the world alone.

On our best days, God is with us. On our absolute worst days, God is with us. Whether we accept or reject Him, God is with us. When the going gets tough, we can seek refuge in His arms. He will carry us until we regain our strength. But only if we let Him.

Jesus won't drag us down the path of righteousness. He gives us free will.  He lets us choose where we want to go and promises that no matter where our choices lead us, He  will be nearby. Even when we choose the route furthest from Him, He still walks beside us, waiting to lead us in the right direction the minute we change our minds. And once we have finally chosen to walk with Him, He promises us that He will ease our troubles.

In the words of the Fray in their song The Fighter, “What breaks your bones is not the load you're carrying. What breaks you down is all in how you carry.” Without Christ, the load can easily be intensified until it suffocates us. But when we carry our load with Christ, He removes the burden from our shoulders, just as He carried His cross for our sake. He's willing to lighten the load if we're willing to turn to Him for help.

We can't carry the world on our shoulders alone. Luckily, God is there to help us bear the load. And, unlike us, He will never fail. He will never abandon us. He will never give up until we are beside Him.

Related Songs: 
"Safe" by Paul Wickham
"By Your Side" by Tenth Avenue North

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