Walking with God
Are you familiar with that story about walking with Jesus and the set of footprints? I began to imagine what that would look like or even feel like…
The smell of the salt in the ocean air. Or the feel of the warm, shell-speckled sand massaging the bottom of my feet and finding a home in between my toes. The occasional rush of foamy sea water flowing over my path.
And it’s that which reminds me of who I am walking beside, the Creator, God himself. The One who made the scents of the sea a pleasing aroma that warms my soul. The One who made my ears to hear the sound of the waves arriving in a crescendo of triumph only to depart with a soft, sweet aria.
I am undeserving. I am not worthy of Him yet, He walks with me anyway.
Without saying a word, I extend my right hand out in search of His and He grasps it in His strong, capable hand. I feel His warmth rush through me like a tidal wave, cleansing me and making me whole again.
I am enveloped by His love. I am captivated by His grace. I am unworthy of having His footprints next to mine.
Then I begin to wonder… What if we are not by the majestic sea but we are in the unforgiving desert? The earth spins around me and I am transported to a new and unwanted place.
The sun is hot against my parched skin and there is no water in sight. The sand is blistering and angry and I’m sure it’s boring holes into my bare feet.
I have never known a thirst like this that reaches into the depths of my soul. Depths that can only be discovered in need unfathomably great. The desperation, the brokenness, they consume me as if I were an afternoon treat to delight in.
My strength is gone and I can no longer hold myself up. I stumble and try to brace my fall but am failing miserably. I am simply too exhausted. That is when I feel pure strength grab hold of me and I am lifted up like a child into a pair of arms. There is something about suffering there in that place that makes me feel free. I am unbridled and I am safe. It is then that I know who holds me upright.
Even though I wasn’t aware of His presence at first, I know He must have always been with me. Who else would walk with me in such a merciless place to catch me and protect me but God? I turn my tear-streaked face to His but I cannot see Him because of the brightly shining sun.
I may not be able to make out the contours of His face but I know He is beautiful. I know there is coolness in His touch. His mercy emanates from Him like a sweet aroma akin to wisteria in the springtime. His words are a balm to my cracked soul and he heals my deepest hurts. I breathe Him in and my hope is restored.
It is here that I know Him best. The sands of the sea taught me a lot about Him but the sands of the desert have taught me more.
As I breathe out, I whisper… Yahweh
I am undeserving.
Thank you for the beautiful photos:
Taklamakan Desert, China. Credit: Yuxi Lin