Some time ago I was asked to read the Footprints poem on my local radio station. This inspirational poem has been reproduced thousands of times in many ways. bringing hope and comfort to countless thousands of people for seventy years.
It is usually attributed as “author anonymous” but it was in fact written by a girl in America called MaryStevenson during the Great Depression. Only in her teens, she was already no stranger to loss and heartache and she was moved to write this poem about all that she had experienced even at that tender age. She realised that the words could possibly help others and distributed handwritten copies. Many years later she was awarded the copyright for her work which had been plagiarised by others.
The words speak of the tragedy and heartache of the human experience but also of the great and comforting presence of God in our times of trouble. We ask that question “Where were you God when…?” “Where are you God in all that’s going on right now?”
There are differing views and I could have asked that question many times myself, where was God when my baby died, where was God when I lost my job, my home, my mum? All I can tell you from my experience is that He was there with me, carrying me through the hard times of my heartbreak, comforting me in my confusion and despair.
Look again as Mary tells us that she was shown that when there was only one set of footprints that ‘s when God carried her. He can carry you too if you will let Him.
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.”