Deuteronomy 31:6b, “…the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
There is a famous poem titled, “Footprints in the Sand.” Although it is widely disputed as to who originally penned the poem, it reads as follows:
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Scenes from his life flashed across the sky
and he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
one belonging to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life had flashed before him,
he recalled that at the lowest and saddest times of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
Dismayed, he asked, “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you’d walk with me all the way.
I don’t understand why, when I needed you most,
you would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious child.
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering
when you saw only one set of footprints…
That was when I carried you.”
Have you ever felt neglected? Have you ever noticed a super-natural protection?
Thinking of your child, in what ways have you protected her without her knowledge?
Reading and Questions
2 Samuel 5:22-25
Picture the scene: You are David’s army, crouching in the trees, looking into the valley below where your enemy awaits, unaware of your presence. God has told you, “As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you…” (v 22). Are you nervous? Excited?
Suddenly, you hear the faint sound of marching, coming from the tops of the trees. It is almost an eerie feeling as you listen to thousands of unseen troops in their rhythmic steps. Surely only God could make marching noises come from treetops! In full confidence you set out toward your enemy, knowing that God has preceded you and guaranteed your victory.
Some of us are convinced that God has abandoned us completely. We’ve questioned where he is and why he has left. But we also refuse to see the good around us as evidence that he’s still there, still working, still protecting and still loving us.
Read Romans 15:13, and fill in the blank: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you __________ in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
As you trust in God, he will fill you with hope. And as you learn to see the ways he is working around you, you will learn to trust him more.
Think of the ways you have been helped or encouraged in the past few months. Whether it is by someone who helped you bring groceries to your car, the nurse in the hospital, or the person who gave you a random gift. Maybe it was someone who called you, or smiled at you in the parking lot, or struck up a fun conversation. Write about those times here:
Each of these times of encouragement or help is a blessing from God. Each time, God was presenting himself to you in a loving and practical way. Each time, God was showing you that you are not alone.
In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses encourages Israel as they are about to fight their way into the promised land. He says, “’Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will ________________ leave you nor forsake you.’”
In the hard times, we tend to think that God is standing back, watching to see how we do and just simply hoping we make it. We couldn’t be farther from the truth! These are the times when he is wrapped up around every fiber of our daily life. He is the “lucky” green light, the hot cup of coffee and the smile from our child. God is around you. Trust in him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 say, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Keep looking for God’s presence in your life. If you’re having a hard time, have a mentor talk with you about the ways God is working. You aren’t traveling alone, God is with you.
Read Psalm 23. It is a common passage for soldiers to memorize before going to war, because of its encouragement. Try to memorize some or all of this passage.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
To print or download a copy of this study, click We Aren’t Traveling Alone PDF.