The poem “Footprints in the Sand” is beloved by many. There has been much said about who the original author is for the above-mentioned poem. Several names have emerged as its author. I’m not certain that the answer has truly been settled.  

So many of us find comfort in the words of this poem and the thought of knowing that Jesus is there. There is comfort in knowing that he carries us. There is confidence when you can see the footprints and you know that someone is there. But what happens when you can’t see the footprints? What happens when you can’t track or trace the footprints, and the trail goes cold and the footprints vanish? What happens when you come to the end of the line? What happens when you follow the lead, but then you lose the lead? What is your next step? What is your next move?  

For the four hundred years known as the silent years, God didn’t speak as Israel had grown to hearing his voice. The voices of the prophets were silent. He didn’t speak by dreams or signs or anything. It was as if he didn’t leave any footprints in the sand. The trail went cold and the footprints, well they seemed to have disappeared into thin air. All that was left was silence.  

We have trouble with silence. When we are given the silent treatment, our first reaction to silence is; something must be wrong. We begin asking questions, like; Did I make you mad? Did I say something that offended you? Sometimes we start looking for something or someone to blame for the silence.   Silence often signals that something is wrong because we're not used to it.

We are used to the noises, the banging, the roar of the jet planes, the trains going by, the birds in the trees or the crickets in the night. Silence in the room makes us nervous. We can hardly stand it for a short time. Imagine the silence for a week, a month, or even a year.  

What happens when the silence denotes the reduction of income, loss of a loved one, the breakup of a meaningful relationship, unexpected bad news or some other event? What happens when the voices you are used to hearing have gone silent? What happens when the trail ends and everything comes to a grinding halt? What happens when the footprints fade and the poem becomes your reality?  

Here are some words of assurance that I have found to be meaningful in the silence. The poem above is a great reminder of God's care for us, but the words below is a promise of sustainability that holds true for every one that is born of God. It is evident of the character of the God who has no character flaws, with whom no one can compare, who makes good on every promise.

“Listen to me…you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried you since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:3-4 NIV).  Meditate on these words.

Be blessed!