A pleasure in life that is hard to beat is taking a walk along a beach and fully immersing oneself in the moment and allowing the senses to be stimulated with the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea air, the touch of the sand and the breeze and the beauty of the coastal scenery.
At a recent ‘Sensing Journey Retreat’ shared with 13 other leaders, the image below set the scene for the journey of the 3 day experience.
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord…
Genesis 48:15 Then he (Jacob) blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day… (NIV Bible)
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 was one only.
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 has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
Jacob’s life was full of trials and tribulations, but despite this, at the end of his life he was able to look back and acknowledge that God, as his shepherd, had been guiding and assuring him on his life journey.
I too experience difficult and challenging situations and wonder whether God has abandoned me. However, when I reflect on these darker challenging times, I can often see God’s hand at work. I do not necessarily realise it at the time, but looking back, I can see where God has guided, assured, comforted, and helped me overcome self-doubt, despair and rejection.
What do you see when you look back at the footprints in the sand of your journey over the past few days, weeks, months and years?