Friday, February 3, 2012

Counting Footprints

    If you've been a Christian for more than a few minutes, odds are you are familiar with the poem below:

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed 
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

by Carolyn Joyce Carty

     It's a beautiful poem.  Problem is, it's misleading.  

    Truth is, there are almost never two sets of footprints after Jesus saves us.  He shoulders very nearly all of the weight on this journey.  

    Further, when there are actually two sets of footprints, one will often, sadly, be seen leaving Christ's side to head off and blaze their own trail. Or is that on a trail to blazes?

    This week's sermon - The Blessings of His Burden - seeks to set us straight about who carries what as we journey together by the water's edge.  And, sometimes, when we tread the waves themselves.


     The Bereans of "Sow What?" spent Wednesday night scrutinizing the sermon; the key verses are linked to here:

Mt 11:25-30

Ps 68:19

2 Cor 5:4

Burdens God Takes:
 What he has decreed, and What we give Him. God meets us in humility and meekness, handling our burdens tirelessly and in constancy.

Ps 38:4

Luke 11:46

Mt 6:31-34

Ps 81:5-6

Burdens God Gives:
We are not to accept the comfort of the enemy, instead carrying the burdens of God's heart for the world and for one another.

2 Cor 5:4 (yes, again)

Gal 6:2

Hab 1:1-3

Luke 19:41-44
Bottom Line Up Front

Why, exactly,  are His burdens a blessing?

* Leads to Joy 

* Leads to Peace

* Leads to Power and Authority

     We were able to confirm these truths via Ps 37:4 , Is 55: 11, and Am 3:7

How, exactly, are we to carry them?

* Stop Carrying God's Burdens to free your hands for yours

* Galations 6:2!

* Vigilance of your heart; know the Word, know it's Author, stay near to Him via the spiritual disciplines

     As time allows, next week we will discuss what this might look like in our homes, and when we venture out into the world.  

    Lord, help us all, and keep us.

><> Dan & Nancy

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