St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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Indeed, you were called to do this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you would follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2:21

Many of us know the “Footprints in the Sand” poem about a guy who has a dream that he’s walking in the sand and there’s two sets of prints, and then he looks back and during times of trouble there is only one set. And perhaps this poem has a place in the Christian ethos, but if we consider what the Scripture teaches us about footsteps, this poem is not always the point. Why? Because Jesus’ path is a path of suffering and not of sandy beaches. And Jesus carries us to the cross where He suffers for us, and where we are crucified with Him.

As God’s people, we should learn to be ready and willing to suffer whatever comes our way because Christ our Lord suffered so much for us. Our Lord was completely innocent, but He served us and give His life for us. Thus, we should not refuse to serve or suffer for Him! Though He knew no sin, He became sin for us — He took our sin upon Himself, shed His blood and died and wiped away our sin forever. Thus, we should endure a little bit of suffering if it is pleasing to Him. After all, to consider the death of Christ without being moved is like being a statue of stone. And what would a servant do after his master drudges through a muddy path? Will he not follow in his footsteps and get muddy himself?

This is what Peter means when he says, “To this you were called…” We are called to endure suffering just as Christ did. So, if you wish to follow Christ, you must not argue or complain when you are wronged. Endure it and forgive it! Christ suffered everything for you and He, not once, appealed to justice or demanded fair or equal treatment when he stood before His judges and executioners. He allowed Himself to be spat upon, kicked and bruised, punched and prodded and crucified, yet without a word. In the same way, you should be willing to set justice aside and, like He whom you seek to follow, endure injustice without complaint even if it brings you to a wrongful death.

And, when you do fall, when you fail to endure, when you can no longer drudge through the muck with your Savior, then He will pick you up and carry you and renew your strength and protect you. But know that He will also put you back on your feet once more. Christ wants you getting dirty with Him so your faith grows so that you can endure greater challenges ahead.

Dear Savior, keep me steadfast and strong as I walk Your path, so that when suffering and hardship come, I may stand firm and confess Your name without fear or doubt. Amen.

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