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Proverbs 20:24 – The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? (NLT)

Footprints in the Sand is a popular poem that recounts the story of a person walking on the beach with the Lord. As life scenes flashed before them, they noticed how only one set of footprints were visible during the difficult episodes in their life. When the beachgoer questioned the Lord, He assured them they had been carried during those periods.

I'm reminded of my children's first steps. They did not suddenly stand and start walking. The process was one of starts and stops. If they fell after a few steps, they would often crawl the remainder of the distance. Nor did they initially start by standing up in the middle of the floor but by holding on to an object. If they fell, I would normally pick them up, hold them in my arms, and comfort them before letting them try again.

Solomon says that the Lord directs or ordains our steps, then asks how we can understand the road we travel. The road is our lifespan. I've often been confused by events, world and personal. "Why did You allow this?" "God, does this have some purpose?" and "Thanks a lot, God" can be statements I say — or at least think — when circumstances appear to have no logical purpose.

I'm reminded that life is a series of starts, pauses, stops, and restarts. Like the poem's author, I can confusingly look back and see how God has orchestrated events that at the moment seemed senseless. But He was there. Time clarifies some events, but others must be held in faith until a later date. One thing is certain: God directs His children's steps. Like a good parent, He lovingly encourages us to take another step.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to realize that Your plan for us involves many starts, falls, and restarts, but that You are always there to pick us up and give us another chance. Amen.

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Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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