Week 26 Wednesday

Footprints Not Seen

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 75-77

Key verses: Psalm 77:19

     “Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.”

     A number of years ago a poem entitled FOOTPRINTS captured the hearts and imaginations of many.

     In it a follower of God cries out in frustration – thinking that God had abandoned him or her during rough times – only to learn that God had carried the weary follower through those times.  That’s why there was only one set of footprints in the sand.

     It may not be great literature.  It’s not Dante.  But it’s a nice little poem – and I, like many, have taken comfort now and then in its message.

     But I also like the thought expressed in Psalm 77 – where we are reminded that sometimes we actually won’t see anyone’s footprints but our own.  Is it because God is absent in those times?  No – that’s not it.  God is there – we just don’t see the footprints.  They are invisible.

     How many times can you imagine that God has been powerfully at work in your life – and you just haven’t seen it?

     How many times have you seen the hand of God at work, but only “after the fact” in retrospect?

     How many times have you thought – “Where’s God?” and then an unexpected call; an unanticipated solution or resolution; a seeming “miracle” right when you needed it – has appeared?

     And you think to yourself, a little shamed, “Ah, God was there all the time!”

     Footprints are funny things – especially when they are left in the shifting sand.  Sometimes they are God’s; sometimes they are ours.  Sometimes they are visible – sometimes not.

     But God is at work.  God is always at work.

     Thanks be to God.


Prayer: Lord, help me to stay strong in my faith, trusting your presence, even when I can’t see it.  AMEN.



By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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