September 11, 2021
Pain always seems worst in the middle of the night — when the house is silent; when darkness shrouds our vision and the outside world seems to have disappeared; when we feel alone — so very alone. It’s during the middle of the night, when sleep escapes us and we are left to toss and turn in our beds, that we question God’s intentions. “Have you forgotten me, God? Are you angry with me? Do you even love me anymore?”
The writer of today’s psalm experienced these feelings of lonely despair and yet, found a glimmer of hope in remembering. Verse 11 says, “I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old.” When faced with doubt and suffering, the psalmist went back to the past to find evidence of God’s provision and care. He cites the example of when the Hebrew people were escaping Pharaoh’s army and were up against the seemingly impenetrable barrier of the Red Sea. Verses 19-20 state, “Your way was through the sea, your path, through the mighty waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
God’s rescue was through a seemingly impossible path. His footprints were invisible in the swirling water, but they were there. He led his people to safety.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Are you suffering pain or grief, doubt or indecision in your life? Think of times in the past when God showed up to help you — even when the way seemed impossible.
- Where do you need to see God’s invisible footprints today?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Want to see some invisible footprints? Get a piece of white paper and a white crayon and draw footprints on the paper. You can’t really see them very well, can you? Now paint a thin wash of black watercolor over where you drew the footprints. Now what can you see? It’s just like sometimes we can’t see where God is working in our lives, but we can trust that he’s helping us all the time — even if it’s invisible.
Loving God, in those dark nights of suffering, help us to remember the ways you’ve helped us in the past. Help us to trust that you are there making a way for us, even if we can’t see the path before us. Take our hands and lead us to safety.