Many years ago, the poem “Footprints in the Sand” became quite popular. Most of you probably remember it or even had it framed and hanging on a wall in your home. The poem tells the story of a man who has a dream that at the end of his days, the Lord shows him various scenes from his life. Along with each scene, he sees images of footprints in sand. For most of his life, he sees two sets of footprints, himself and the Lord walking side by side. But during the difficult and painful times of his life, he sees only one set of footprints. After the scenes have played out, he asks God why he was abandoned and left to walk alone during those hard times. The Lord replies that those single sets of footprints are His and that He did not leave him alone during those times, but rather carried him through them.

Many people have found comfort in the thought that God carries them through their hard times. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and He never has and never will. In the midst of overwhelming heartache and struggle, when you feel abandoned and alone, you can be confident that the Lord keeps His word and will never leave you. Not only does He not leave you, but He picks you up and carries you. The Lord Himself spoke about the times He carries His people. He says to the prophet Isaiah in chapter 46:3-4, “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”

The truth He reveals to Isaiah is that there have never been two sets of footprints in the sand. His people have never walked under their own power or even stood on their own two feet. He has them in His arms even before they are born. They come out from their mother’s womb already in His hands and He carries them from birth into their old age. Yes, even to their gray hairs and beyond! The gods of this world are burdens to be carried by those who make and worship them, but not our God! Ours is a God who carries us. “From of old,” proclaims Isaiah, “no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” Take heart child of God! The Lord who made you will hold you up. The Lord who carries you will deliver you!