"Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen."
Psalm 77:19 (New International Version)
When I was in eighth grade, my family went with two other families to Moanda, the fifteen mile strip of Congo coast on the Atlantic Ocean. Everyday we would load up in our vehicle and head down to Tonde (Tone-day) Beach to spend the day body-surfing in the waves, play in the lagoon, and eat salted, roasted cashews bought from vendors on the beach. Over eight hundred miles away from our mission station of Nkara-Ewa, Moanda was a place to relax from the pressures of daily life in a third world country and enjoy the ocean breezes that moderated the intense heat of the Congo sun. God reminded us each evening what an amazing artist He was as He would paint one spectacular sunset after another as the burning disc of the sun rested on the edge of the world beyond the ocean's horizon. We would come home ravenous, sunburned, and with half the beach in our hair and clothes.
One of my favorite things to do was to stand in the sand and dig my feet in its wet coolness. I would stand in the footprints I had made as the tide would come rushing over my feet, feeling the sand erode under me. After the wave receded, I would step away from where I had been standing. After the next wave had gone back into the sea, it looked as though I had never been there at all. The wave erased any evidence of my footprints.
I like having an answer for all that happens. I like when A+B=C. But there are times in this life when there is no figuring God out. In fact, His footprints in my life are as difficult to find as mine were on that beach after the waves had pounded the surf. The losses, just seven weeks apart, this spring of my siblings' two precious babies are as difficult to ponder and reason through as finding those footprints on the beach. There is no searching my God out. My job today is not to figure out His path for me, with those twists and turns that can seem so unfair. My responsibility today is to love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30). He has not asked me to be His counselor. He has not asked me to figure Him out. What He has asked me to do is to be still and know that He is God. When I do not obey Him in this, I quickly sink into despair. But when I choose to praise Him in the midst of the trial, the chains of despair fall from me as His peace gives me the ability to be still and know that He is God. Even when I don't understand--especially when I don't understand.
I may never understand all that He allows in this lifetime. But I will one day and that fills me with inexpressible peace and hope in the wait.
Jesus, although I cannot always find your footprints on the paths in which you lead me, Your Word does not lie to me. One day I will be given new eyes which will show me the truth:that You, Jesus, have led me all the way.