For me … there is nothing sweeter than a close companionship with God. Having clear direction and knowing that I am progressing along the path that God has purposed for me brings a spring in my step and makes enduring setbacks and life’s hardships bearable, and at times, I can even appreciate the personal strength and faith-building that comes from going through such experiences. However, when the silence comes… For me, its a very different experience…
When I can’t seem to hear from God; when the clarity of the next step doesn’t seem apparent; when progress seems thwarted; and friends, family or church brethren seem to be singing from a completely different hymn sheet, self-doubt sets in, life feels cold and my seemingly only option, at those times seems to be, abandon hope… retreat into my self… give up…
But there really is another way. As a child of the Most High, our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ and the Comforter, is NEVER a far off. Its times like this that I remember that well known poem ‘Footsteps in the Sand’ by Mary Stevenson.
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along
the beach with the Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed
two sets of footprints in the sand,
one beloning to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the
very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life there is
only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when I needed you most
you would leave me.”
The Lord replied “My precious, precious child,
I love you and would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffereing,
when you see only one set of footprints in the sand,
it was then that I carried you.”
So what can I do during these lonely times? What has worked for me when I have been here before?
Firstly, claiming the promises from the Word of God.
* I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13 – remembering, if “……God makes the decision He will make the provision.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Secondly, I remember again what God has promised me, personally. I recall all the assurances that I have been given when I have listened to that ‘still small voice’ in times past, and that gives me comfort.
And thirdly, I bring to mind my personal testimonies of the power and goodness of God. The things that I have witnessed along my walk with God, my testimonies.
These three things have helped me when I have felt alone, I don’t know, try them and see if the can bring comfort to you.
Until the next time, stay blessed.
Oenca is a an author, coach, training and consultant. Specialising in leadership and talent development within the public, private and voluntary sectors. Working with the local authorities and the police service for a number of years, she has been recognised repeatedly for outstanding leadership and professionalism when working with client organisations.