HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER
“FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND”
I know most of you have read, at one time or other, the beautiful work “Footprints”.
In it, the author tells the story of a man who dreams of a scene where Jesus and he are walking in the sand by the seashore. As they walk along the beach, scenes from the man’s life are flashed across the darkened sky. Their footprints are clearly visible in the sand and the man seems to be enjoying this special time with the Lord. As they continue their stroll, the man looks back and begins to notice that in the times of greatest difficulty during his life there was only one set of footprints in the sand. The man becomes distraught and asks how Jesus could have left him is his distress. The Lord then relates to him the fact that, during those sad and stressful times, Jesus simply picked him up and carried him.
Each one of us has times of great distress, trial, tragedy and sorrow. What is it hat causes some to fall into deep despair, while others seem to weather the storm with calm, confident assurance? It may be an over-worked and seemingly trite passage of scripture, but I believe the apostle Paul says it best, in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know how to be in need, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need. I can do
all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That is the essence of the Christian life. It is the only thing that separates us from the world. We have Jesus Christ, they don’t!
The world looks at every situation from a flawed perspective. As world leaders seek solutions to the pressing problems of war, disease, and hunger they don’t look any farther then their own resources and understanding for answers. If they can’t throw a few billion dollars at a problem and solve it, they are at a loss as to what to do next. The world is always dealing with the external causes of dire situations, rather than getting to the “heart” of the matter. Whatever way you slice it, every single problem the world faces today has its root in that nasty little three-letter word, sin.
The “New World Order” that is developing on every continent and even in outer space (e.g., the International Space Station), is being established in the hope that, through cooperation and mutually beneficial projects, they will find a man-made way to peace and happiness. But, mankind has never been and will never be the ultimate arbiter of how peace is to be established her on Earth. Only God can bring peace on Earth, goodwill to men. The rest is just a sham.
What we can have, even in the midst of constant turmoil and chaos, is inner peace and personal assurance of an abundant life today. However, the good news doesn’t end there; we also receive eternal life with God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
What the man in “Footprints” finally began to realize is the very thing that most of the world is unaware of or unwilling to accept: “….Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners….” I Timothy 1:15. He knew, just as we know, that not everybody would receive Him. Some would turn their backs on Him and have nothing to do with the One who could change them completely. Some would flirt with the idea of a Supreme Being who might do them some good but, in the long run, would let them
down somehow. But, some people, the Bible calls them a remnant, would come and accept the crucified Christ as the Savior and cling to Him, knowing that He had paid the price for them on the cross of Calvary.
Jesus left huge footprints in the sand and He continues to walk the corridors of time with every person who is willing to walk with Him. There is on doubt in any Christian’s mind that Jesus carries us, many times. However, even when we’re not being carried through one difficult situation or another, He is with us every step along life’s journey.
Many times we’re not as thankful as we should be or we may not even be aware of the myriad ways in which He helps us every day. No matter the circumstance, He is always with those who love Him. Jesus clearly expresses the Great Commission to each one of us and His role in the completion of the task, in Matthew 28:18-20: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.
Christians are not always going to walk an easy path. There will be things that cause us problems along the way. But, God is faithful and He will never, ever leave you. In a world that is slipping deeper and deeper into sin and degradation, it’s wonderful to walk with the One who will lift us above the storms of life in His loving arms and take us safely through. What a friend we have in Jesus! (Edited and reprinted from May 2006)
In lieu of a cartoon this month, I would like
to share the 1st verse of
“What A Friend We Have In Jesus”----
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and grief’s to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Used by permission—CCLI