It’s February and February brings back some childhood memories for me. I lived in Indiana as a child and we had some pretty snowy winters when I was growing up. We’d have lots and lots of snow. On occasion our school would get canceled and we’d get to play in the snow. Mom always dressed us warmly. We’d wait for several minutes while she donned us with hats, scarves, mittens, a couple of coats, and of course boots. We could barely move and it seemed to take forever. We’d go out and play in the snow. It was white, pure and wonderful, but also cold. I am sure my mom thought we never played long enough outside in it. We used to tell her it was because it was so cold, as an adult I think it was because we couldn’t move with all the clothes on.
One of the things I remember is my dad walking in front of us making footsteps in the snow. Then we’d follow along trying to walk in his footsteps. Sometimes we’d make it other times we couldn’t step as far as he did and we’d fall or make our own footsteps.
I don’t know what reminded me of all of this, but I remembered these memories. God decided to share some of his intellect with me. I realize we cannot fill God’s footsteps. We can’t be God, but we are to follow in his footsteps. My dad’s footsteps were always much bigger than mine when I was walking in the snow. I could never fill his footsteps. They were much too big for me to fill, but I could follow in his footsteps. Even if I could fill my dad’s footsteps that wouldn’t make me dad; I’d still be me.
Christ’s main reason was to come and be a Savior to us; he was to die on the cross to save our sins. He was to bring new life to us. God could have sent him one day and he could have done this the next day, week or month, but he didn’t. God sent his son to live for 33 years on this earth. While here he healed, loved, served, and brought joy to many people. I think also for me he was here to set an example of how to live my life. I know I will never fill Christ’s footsteps. I do not have the ability or the talent or whatever to heal a person like Christ did for the man at pool of Bethesda found in John 5. Some people may have that talent or ability, I don’t. I think the example for me is Christ showed compassion and I am to show compassion for those who are like the paralytic man.
I was reading my devotion today and one of the points it brought out (by the author) was the question of the wedding. Why did Christ go to the wedding? We hear all kinds of comments about this, “Well he was there to start his ministry, or that his mom jumpstarted his ministry.” We hear he was there to teach us about serving others or we find some hidden agenda that we think might be the reason behind his attending. The author of this books states very clearly that he thought Jesus went to the wedding to have fun. He had just been in the wilderness for forty days fighting off Satan. He was hungry, tired and worn out. He needed to be lifted up and he needed to have some fun. What better way to have fun than go to a celebration. I think this is another example of Jesus teaching us how to live life. He needed for us to know it’s okay to have fun. Who really likes to be around people who are serious all the time or takes life so serious they look like a dried up pumpkin at Halloween? Christ showed us an example of having fun with no hidden agenda. He went there for fun and in the midst of fun a lesson was taught.
If Jesus knew he was going to heal Lazarus why cry? He knew what he was going to do before he did it. He showed he had compassion for those who have lost loved ones. He set an example that shows us we are to show compassion for those who have lost loved ones. We can’t follow in His footsteps and bring back people who have died, but we can show compassion. We can follow in his footsteps loving and caring for those who have lost people dear to them.
When I was young and I tried to walk in my dad’s snow footprints it wasn’t easy. Following in Christ’s footsteps isn’t easy either, but thank goodness we have the Bible and Christ’s words and examples to help us. Christ often prayed and spent time alone with God. Again, as I think about it he did so to set an example for us to follow. He knew how important prayer and spending time alone with God would be for us.
Sometimes I would fail following in my dad’s footsteps and either fall in the snow or I would have to make my own footsteps which got me off track. This reminded me of the rich young ruler found in Mark 10:17-27. The rich young ruler asked Christ what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. He was told point blank what he needed to do. He was told to follow Christ (in his footsteps), but the rich young ruler couldn’t do it. Maybe he thought he needed to fill Chris’s footsteps and he knew it was impossible so why try? So instead he made his own tracks and went off on his own, “But at these words [a]he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.” (Mark 10:22).
Sometimes I think we think (or at least I do) we have to fill Christ’s shoes. We can’t that’s impossible. Christ did not call us to fill his shoes instead he called us to follow in his footsteps. There is a big difference. Just like the rich young ruler and just like I did so many years ago; I would have to try to find the footsteps again and try again to get back on the right track and follow dad’s footsteps. There were times we would be headed in the car to go someplace and I was so far off track my dad would come pick me up and get me going again either by taking me to the car or getting me back on the right track. That’s the way it is with our loving Father, he does not leave us wondering around getting lost. He’s always there ready to help us get back on track or even sometimes picking us up and getting us where we need to be.
Are you feeling like you need to fill Christ’s shoes or are you following in Christ’s footsteps? Have you gotten off track trying to get back and you’ve lost your way? Don’t fret you can’t fill God’s shoes; he doesn’t expect you to, but he does want us to follow in his steps. If you have gotten off track no reason to worry, just call out to God and he will help you find your way.
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
God’s grace abounds.
God bless you.
Dear God: Thank you that I am not called t fill your shoes. That is impossible, but you do call us to follow in your steps. Yes we may fall away or fall down but you are always there to pick us up and get us back on the right track. Thank you for your grace. Guide my path and help m as I follow in your footsteps. Amen.