He carried me.
It’s an old familiar poem – these footprints in the sand. I still love it. For its honest questioning, its authenticity, and beautiful intimacy. Because in the hardest of times, our hearts groan with questions. Where are you, God? Have you left me to walk alone?
It’s this question of the poet’s heart that grips us so.
We can relate to his pain and disbelief. He asks the Father why during the hardest times of his life, there’s only one set of footprints. He wonders how God could have left him to walk alone during the time of his greatest need.
And of course, the Lord says – oh no way did I leave you alone. I will never leave you. It was during those most difficult times that I carried you.
What a tender privilege it is to be carried by the Father. To know what it is to be held in his arms, to be upheld by him.
He is carrying me.
This is what it feels like to be carried by the Lord.
I can go nowhere, except he draw me.
Except he breathe through me.
Except he lift me.
I am utterly his.
My life, in his hands.
Storms have a way of producing surrender.
There is this tenderness in the carrying. I can feel his breath. I come to know his cadence. The rhythm of his breathing, the sound of his steps, how he moves.
But what brought me to this place? How did I wind up in his hands? Carried by the Lord of Hosts.
He is my Abba.
I sat down.
I looked up.
And like every good father, He lifted me.
A wise friend once clarified for me that “cease striving” does not mean to “cease working.” It means to “let God work through you.”
The emphasis changes when we sit down.
Sitting down does not mean giving up. It does not mean losing hope.
Sitting down is an act of will, and courage, and determination. I’m sitting down here. I’m not getting up. I’m not looking for my own solution. I look to You.
He is the Giver of the breath that we breathe.
Every breath we take, he ordains it.
There’s no better place to be than in his hands.
There’s no sweeter place than to be carried by the Father.
It is not an easy place, at first.
I’m squirming a bit. I’m afraid. I don’t know where You’re going.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child is my soul within me. (Ps. 131:2)
I was reminded of an image the Lord gave me a few years ago. In this vision, I was standing up and pointing at a burning building, praying my heart out for God to save it. Some time later, the Lord gave me a second picture. I was back praying at that building again, but this time I was standing in the palm of His hand while pointing at the burning building. And then I heard these words – sit down.
So I sat down and his hand closed over me. I was securely in the palm of his hand.
But now, covered by his hand, I cannot see. What do I do here?
I will hide you under my feathers. Under my wings you will find refuge. (Ps. 91:4)
I am in the cleft of the rock.
It’s time to sit down.
To be carried by the Father.
To learn again what it is to be a child in your Daddy’s arms.
We are His offspring. (Acts 17:28)
When I need to remember the Father’s heart, I often think of my little nieces and nephews. My heart skips a beat just to look at their sweet faces. I love to watch them just be themselves. And if those babies call out or lift their arms to me, you better believe I’m coming to pick them up. I’m drawing them close (and smothering them with kisses!).
There is no hesitation.
Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)
And that is who you are – the offspring of the Living God. When you call to him, he hears you. When you lift your eyes to him, he picks you up. He draws you close.
You can rest here.
You are being carried by the Lord of Hosts.
He carried me.