Have you seen that beautiful poem about footprints in the sand? You have to have seen it. It’s everywhere. It’s on coffee mugs, letter openers, placemats.
The poem tells about a man that had a dream and was talking to God. Scenes of his life flashed across his mind and he saw two sets of footprints in the sands of his life. One was his, the other’s was God’s. But then he noticed that during the most difficult days there was only one set of prints. The man says, “God you said that you would walk with me always, but I notice that during the most difficult days there was only one set of footprints. Why weren’t you with me?”
God says, “My son, that is my set of footprints. That is where I carried you.”
Beautiful story. And it makes a great point. But that isn’t my experience. If I was looking back I would see the two sets of footprints. Then during the most difficult times I would see one set of footprints and a set of skid marks. God would say, “My son, that is where I had to drag you along by the nap of the neck.”
One of those times was in the fall of 2005.
It was harder than anything I’ve ever done. I left my son at Texas A&M. 6.5 hours from me. I know some parents say, the greatest time will be when they leave. You won’t believe how much they will grow up. You’ll love not having to worry over them!
That’s not how I felt. I felt like someone took a knife and cut a chunk out of my insides. I had this huge hole where my son Bill belongs. I knew it was a part of life. I knew it will be alright. But it was harder than I thought. And the only way I got through it was for God to drag me. He couldn’t carry me, because I didn’t want to go. But I had to. It’s best to go. So I went. With skid marks.
Maybe that’s what Paul meant when he said, “His strength is perfected in my weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9) And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
I know that god is strong enough to carry me. But he’s also strong enough to pull me through. Strong enough to pull you through.
That’s the good news.