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“Footprints in the Sand”

Friday, February 13th, 2009

footprints2
Photo by Suzi Rosenberg

Day 27

I love the poem “Footprints in the Sand”.  It reminds me that Jesus not only walks with me when I need Him but at times He even carries me.  I can depend completely on Him when I feel inadequate.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”
By Mary Stevenson
We all need someone to be there for us in difficult times.

I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing.  I looked at my alarm clock. Three a.m.

I heard my dad talking on the phone in serious tones. He was asking about my older brother, Ervan.  When I heard him ask, “Is he going to live?” I knew something terrible had happened to my brother.

For the next few months most of my parent’s time was given to visiting my sick brother in the hospital. When he was finally well enough to come home they were busy taking care of him. They had to prepare special meals for him, and feed him, and change his dressings among other things. In time he healed and became independent again.

While my brother was sick he depended on my parents. My parents never neglected the rest of us but like a shepherd caring for a lame lamb until he is healed they had to give him a lot of extra care. During this time I’m sure my brother developed a very close relationship with my mom and dad because they spent so much time together.

There are times in our lives too that as His child God has to carry us.  We depend on him completely.  Sometimes it’s as we go through a difficult time in our life, like a divorce or an illness, or a financial crisis.  When situations are out of our control and we feel lost He comes and walks the dark hills reaching His hands out to us and carries us back to that safe place close to Him.  He cares for us as we depend completely on Him.

A shepherd has to leave his other sheep as he looks for the lost or hurt lamb, and a parent is forced to neglect the healthy child temporarily because of  their limitations. Unlike the shepherd and our parents, God isn’t limited.  He is with us 100% of the time while He is with the extra needy 100% of the time.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.
“If a man has a hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do?  Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go into the hills to search for the lost one?”  Matthew 18:12 [The Living Bible]

“God has said, ‘I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5 [The Living Bible]
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I want to walk with you spiritually this year, inviting you to read the Bible through from cover to cover; from Genesis 1 all the way to Revelation 22:21.  If that sounds too difficult for you and your kids, you can join in again after you have taken a break or join us for the days you’re up to it.  We will start on Sunday, January 18th and finish Saturday, January 16, 2010.  I promise that you will understand the Bible in a much deeper way if you read it through from cover to cover in a year’s time.

Accept my challenge to read the Bible through in one year chronologically, including the Old and the New Testament.

Day 27 Today read:
Exodus 4:1-5:21
Matthew 18:1-20
Psalm 22:19-31
Proverbs 5:15-21

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This devotion is copyright protected and all rights are reserved worldwide. You are free to use this devotion with your family or with your class. However, it may not be reprinted or republished in any form without written consent from Ruth Willms. If you would like to request permission to republish this devotion, please contact Ruth at ruth.willms@gmail.com

In Search of Love

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Devotional for kids

“I demand that you love each other as much as I love you.
“And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when a person lays down his life for his friends
“And you are my friends if you obey me.” John 15: verses 12, 13 and 14 [The Living Bible]

I felt lonely as a child. I was almost five. I had 13 wonderful sisters and brothers to love me and take care of me. I had wonderful, caring parents who loved Jesus. They met all my needs.

I was never alone. I always had playmates in my sisters and brothers. There was always some excitement going on at our place. In fact, the neighbor kids loved to hang out at our place. It was kid friendly. We had a huge front yard and a thirty acre woods in the back.

At times I was still lonely. I wanted to be special and I felt like I was just one kid of fourteen. Now when I look back I realize I probably didn’t get very much alone time with either mom or dad. After all, they were busy caring for a houseful of kids. When I look back as a mom and grandma now, I don’t know how they kept up. I was lucky that my older brothers and sisters were there for me too. But I still had this lonely feeling deep inside.

All of that changed the week before my fifth birthday. My older sister, Clara, was hot on the revival trail. She had been to a Bible camp and she was determined to share Jesus with someone. Lucky for me, she picked me. I still remember exactly how it happened.

Clara told me a story about a boy Ralph, who had a two year old sister. His little sister’s name was Ruthie. That touched my heart. And Ruthie adored Ralph. Wherever Ralph hung out, and she was allowed, there was Ruthie. Fortunately he doted on her too.

One evening, after tucking his little sister into bed upstairs, Ralph was in the kitchen doing his homework. His parents were out and he was babysitting. It was late and he was getting tired.

Suddenly he smelled smoke. Then he saw the fire was coming from upstairs. His first thought was for Ruthie’s safety.

Now you have to remember that when the story was written not everyone had phones; we didn’t. And there was no 911.

Ralph ran up the stairs. He could hear his little sister call, “Walphie! Walphie!” Being only two, she couldn’t say her “r”.

This only spurred Ralph on and with no thought about himself, only thinking about his beloved sister, he crawled through the fire and smoke to Ruthie’s bed. He soothed her with words of assurance, telling her not to be afraid.

“Ralphie is here and I’ll take good care of you” he promised her.

He heard voices in the front yard below the bedroom window. Then he knew the neighbors had seen the fire and called the fire department.

Quickly he wrapped Ruthie in her blanket and dropped her into loving arms below. She was safe. He felt the searing burns on his arms and face. Mustering all his strength, he jumped, but became unconscious before he was caught below.

Ruthie was safe and had no ill effects from the fire. But in the hospital Ralph fought for his life. He died that night. Everyone said how lucky Ruthie was. She would have died but Ralph saved her. He gave his life for her life.

It wasn’t always perfect in our house with big brothers and little sisters. But I knew that any of my big brothers would do the same for me. Even if there were times they teased me or told me to get lost. They must have got tired of me bugging them or whimpering in their ear many times also.

Then my sister Clara told me that that’s exactly what Jesus did. He gave His life for me when He died on the cross for my sins. My sister explained that if I tell God I want to belong to Him, and ask Him to accept me and forgive me of all my sins, because Jesus died for them, I will become God’s child. He will always be with me and when I die I will go to heaven to be with him forever.

Also, Jesus didn’t stay dead like Ralph did. Jesus rose from the dead and met with his disciples. After a number of days He went to heaven. So we can have a relationship with Him as we pray to Him and read His Word, the Bible. I accepted Jesus that night.

Now I wasn’t lonely anymore. Jesus was always with me. I knew He loved me in a very special way. After all, He gave His life for me. I could talk to Him anytime, anywhere. Today I still have this special relationship with Him and belong to Jesus.

Jesus died for everyone in the whole world, including you. The Bible says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16, The Living Bible]

You can ask Him right now to accept you because Jesus died for you too and He will forgive you of all your sins. When you do, tell someone, like your mom and dad. If you go to Sunday school or a Bible club, tell your leader. He or she can encourage you and help you learn more about your new life in Jesus.

Going deeper for adults:

What more can I add? This applies to adults as well as kids.

If you make the decision to accept Jesus, please leave a comment at the end of this devotional to inform me. I won’t display the post but will pray for you.

Memory verse for this week:

“If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself.
“In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3: verses 4, 5 and 6 [The Living Bible]

Want to know more about how God can help you every day? Check out my new book The Lion Tree at www.ruthwillms.com

Look for my new unpublished story, An Anniversary Surprise, at www.ruthwillms.com