by Cheri Cowell @CheriCowell
Reminiscing about childhood can be a lot of fun. One weekend my sister and I stayed up late talking about events from our childhood as only sisters can do. We laughed at some of the stupid things we did, and we spoke with sadness as we remembered the death of our pets. Mostly we remembered being fairly good kids—not perfect, but good.
The thing that amazes us the most is how closely our lives are now mirroring each other. She is a Christian counselor, working with those affected by trauma to find hope and healing. I am a Christian author and speaker helping people to find hope and healing through God’s Word.
During our weekend together we were able to trace and celebrate God’s footprints throughout our lives, guiding us to where we are today. And the good news is, He has left footprints in your life, too. They can be such an encouragement when we just take the time to look.
The psalmist Asaph, when in need of comfort, meditated on God’s faithful presence in his past. He opened Psalm 77 feeling very disturbed. His spirit was faint, so troubled he could not speak. What was the remedy for such discouragement? “I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit ponders” (v. 6 NASB).
Asaph remembered the frightening spectacle of a great storm: the howling winds whipping the waters into a frenzy. The skies opened and a deluge poured down as lightning flashed and thunder crashed. The mighty God of the storm was overwhelming in His power and strength. “The earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen” (v. 18-19 NIV, emphasis mine).
Yet, that same powerful God led His people through the deep waters of the Red Sea in the Exodus like a gentle shepherd. Sometimes He is hard to comprehend, frightening to behold. At other times His intimate presence is a quiet balm to our troubled soul.
As my sister and I reminisced, we could see how He was constantly present in our lives. Not that we didn’t experience terrible sorrow and pain. We did. But as we looked back, we could His footprints, even in the midst of the storms. Even when we could not see Him at the time.
So many times in our childhood, God had shown mercy to us. He’d be a faithful presence leading through the troubled waters. As we shared those moments, we were encouraged.
Remembering God’s faithfulness is one way for us to cling to Him. We remind ourselves that though we may not easily see His footprints in our lives right now, He is indeed at work and guiding us forward.
In your prayer time today, praise God for His mighty work in your life, and thank Him for His faithfulness even though you may not presently be able to discern His footprints. Then find a family member or friend with whom to share those insights. It just may be the thing they need to remind them of God’s faithfulness. Finally, meditate on God’s past mercies in your own life so that you will become better at seeing His footprints in your present, carefully directing your steps.
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:11-12 NIV
Inspired by best-selling author Janette Oke and the Hallmark Channel original TV series When Calls the Heart, Brian Bird and Michelle Cox explore the love-filled moments from the fictional early 1900s town of Hope Valley. Stories of romantic love, as well as love between families, neighbors, and friends, will touch your heart and encourage your soul to recognize the potential of love in your life.