There is a well-known poem called “Footprints in the Sand.” It’s a poem about the life of a man who dreams he is walking along the beach with Jesus. And as they walk, the man notices two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to the Lord and the other belonging to him.
After he dies and goes to heaven, the man looks back at his life. During his lowest and most difficult times he noticed there was only one set of footprints in the sand. He asks the Lord why it was when he needed Jesus the most, there was only one set of footprints? The Lord responded that it was at those lowest and most difficult times that He was carrying the man through on His shoulders.
Sometimes, we don’t get the change we want because it is not the change Jesus is trying to give us. We see this in many instances throughout scripture. We want one thing, but Jesus has other plans. In Luke 22:42, on the night Jesus was betrayed, He prayed to God, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done.”
Jesus had His mind on Himself and on His circumstances, but He had His heart set on God.
Then in 1 Corinthians 12:7, Paul tells us he asked Jesus to remove an infirmity from him. Paul tells us how Jesus responded to his request. “Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, My Grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weaknesses.”
At first, Paul had heart set on himself, and his mind was on his infirmity.
Both Jesus and Paul wanted something about their situation to change. But notice the difference in how the two approached God. Jesus acknowledged that God’s Will for His life extended to everything about His life. Jesus wanted God’s will even if it was different from His own.
Paul didn’t acknowledge God’s will over his life. Paul wanted his circumstances to be changed. He wanted that to be God’s will for him. Like Jesus, Paul learned that God doesn’t change our circumstances because we find them difficult. He changes our hearts and our minds to recognize the power of His Grace at work in our lives.
I know some of you reading this may have something very troubling you are going through, some of you have been going through this difficult thing for a very long time. You can’t see how you can make it another day. You want the Lord to change your circumstances. And even after all your prayers—and the prayers of many others on your behalf—it seems like He is not listening because things are not changing for you.
I know that the Lord knows your hurt and your pain and your confusion and even your disappointment. I’ve gone through that myself. In fact, I lived there until I learned that God often had plans that differed from the plans I had for my life. I wanted to get out of the bondage of Egypt, but I didn’t want to go through the Red Sea or travel in the desert.
So, this is what I came to know. I learned that making things the way I wanted wasn’t always better for me. But Grace always leads us to choose a better way to move than the way we want.
I learned getting out of something wasn’t always what was needed. Getting through something was better. Grace will always help you get through what you want to get out of.
I learned that living with my greatest struggles, my lowest moments, and in my greatest fears were the times I wanted to be free. Grace will always help us get through the things that challenge us most because it is the strength of God coming to life in our weakest moments.
I am not at the point where I claim to be happy to be in trials. In fact, I hope I’m never happy with that. But I believe we should be at the point where we know that Jesus carries us through our greatest trials.
When we feel we are at the end and alone by ourselves, Jesus asks to us to look around. When we find His Grace, we find that He did not change the circumstances of our lives because He was hard at work carrying us through our circumstances so we can have changed lives like we never imagined.
When we learn to want the change that Jesus wants for us, we will learn to look for Him to take us through our challenges rather than look for Him to change what is before us.
When you learn to live in Grace, you will learn to live in the power of God’s favor in your darkest and most pressing moments. Grace makes you say for real, “Not my will by Thy will be done O Lord.” Grace gives you the power to give the Lord the change that He wants to make in your life.
Live a Delivered Life. Love You.