Many of us love to pray or sing “Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus.” What we aren’t as quick to acknowledge is our expectation that the Jesus we see be accompanied by comfort, order and tranquility.
Those of us who have attended a tracking seminar at a nature center know that finding footprints in reality is not as clear cut as the poster that shows us the one set of footprints on a clean beach with the explanation of that is when He carried us.
Is there a need this Christmas season to begin by declaring that “Yes, God is with us”. His footprints are discernible in even the most chaotic stories.
Then, like the tour guide at the nature center, or the detective at the crime scene, we do not doubt that footprints are present. Instead, we put more energy into discovering them.
This posture calls us to a default position of denying several lies that our enemy has purposed for us to embrace. These lies include, God is not with us, Good is not good, God cannot be trusted, God does not care, and this mission is an exercise in futility.
With those distractions out of the visual field, we have more light to focus on the promises of God that cannot fail.
He is intimately involved in our story. He hears every prayer before we form it into words. He loves for us to discover evidences of His faithfulness before the faith becomes fact.
A mother told me this week that she has been grasped by an unexplainable hope for her prodigal son even though the circumstances have not changed. I see a footprint.
I watched last night as a friend prayed fervently for relief from pain and in the process was captivated by the story of Paul’s thorn in the flesh; learning that the affliction was a messenger from the enemy but the message was from God. I see a footprint.
Another friend, who is facing a financial challenge, said with riveting boldness, “God has this covered”. I see a footprint.
I wouldn’t expect to find God’s footprints in the chaos of a family prodigal, a bed of unrelenting pain or the threat of financial collapse.
But, then, I wouldn’t have expected the Messiah to come in the mess of a manger either.
Lord, Thank you for your grace that enables us to discover footprints in the chaos. Each of these footprints is at risk of washing away by the ravages of illness, depression and injustice.
But I choose to identify the footprints and shout out the promise of Christmas: “Emmanuel, God is with us!”