God IN the Storm
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“…though your footprints were not seen” (Psalm 77:19)
Most of us are familiar with the poem Footprints where God is described first of all as walking alongside of us on our journey through life. At that point there are two sets of footprints. Then, as life grows difficult, only one set of prints is seen and the author wonders where God was when things were going so badly. The answer comes back that those footprints were His as He carried His child through the storms of life. The poem, and the truth expressed in it, has blessed millions.
Asaph didn’t see any footprints. He begins this psalm crying out for help (77:1-9). He is hurting, in distress, can’t sleep. He is troubled. He wonders if God has rejected His people, if He no longer loves them, if He is angry with them.
As he struggles, He remembers all that God had done for His people in the past (77:10-15). He remembers how:
“The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen” (77:16-19).
Sometimes there is only the storm. It is then that we need to remember that God is IN the storm. We separate God from the events of our lives as though He had little or nothing to do with them. The waters that threaten to overwhelm us, the lightning and thunder that frighten us, the trembling of the earth that crumbles all our carefully constructed walls of self-preservation, the path through seas that seem impossible to cross, are all His.
Even when we can’t see the footprints we can know, as Asaph knew, that God still leads His children (77:20) and since the storms are His, a safe passage through them is guaranteed.