For today’s helpful hint to turn times of suffering into times of spiritual discipline I want to suggest looking for Jesus. That is the whole Footprints poem isn’t it – that in our darkest most difficult moments we weren’t walking by ourselves but we are carried along and helped by Jesus. But if we are only complaining about our lot or looking for a way out; if our initial response smacks of ‘why me’, then we might miss the chance to see Jesus reach out His hand to pull us out of the water again.
“One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.
When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.
“Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don’t understand why, when I need You most, You leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.””
Expect Jesus! Listen and learn from Jesus, just as the Apostle Paul did in 1 Corinthians 11 & 12! Look for Jesus and His comfort and His grace!