Footsteps in the sand

We face crisis in the world today. We face world shattering issues such as climate change and its host of sub tiered ramifications: We have Ozone depletion, Global Warming, Melting Glaciers, Rising seas, less land for farming and less drinkable water for our ever rising population.

If that is not enough, we have wars, and rumors of wars; we have economic crisis that still has yet to lift. Anyone in business will point out to you that the small positive indications that have come and gone over the last year and a half are not yet a turn for the positive. We have the threat of inflation in the world’s largest economy, which will surely impact the remainder of the world. Mounting debt, and crumbling cooperation between some very old allies and the list goes on.

If some estimates are to be believed, the world’s glaciers lost 260 gigatons of water, each year for the period 2003 - 2009. Which was the most recent study data I could find. This supposedly raised the world’s ocean levels by almost 0.3 inches in each of those years. A gigaton for you non scientist, is 1 billion tons.

But all of this pales when we start thinking about things closer to home.

Some in our congregation have recently found themselves without work, due to the crisis. Some people are experiencing marital problems. Maybe some of these arguments may be exacerbated by the economic times in which we live. Some people are facing grave health problems. Serious health issues that may result in death or permanent disability.

Some are experiencing money problems, some experience problems with alcohol, some problems at work, or any one of a number of varied problems both big and small that may come into one’s life.

You see the end of the world, or the Seychelles Islands going under water in 100 years just does not compare to an out and out fight with the person you love. It doesn’t compare to not being able to pay the bills or provide food on the table.

In Psalms 17 - 19 we read:
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

We find one of the most beautiful passages in Matthew 6:25–34

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

It reminds one of the story of a man who enters into Heaven. He reflects back on his life, with Jesus beside him. Jesus explains that his steps through life are reflected as two sets of footprints in the sand of a long beach. The second set of footprints are those of Christ, as he walks along with this gentleman.

The man looked at his life and asked “Lord, I have noticed that in my most desperate times, there is only one set of footprints in the sand. Why did you abandon me during these times.

Jesus smiled and said “look closer my son”; “it was during those times that I carried you”.

God Bless.