There's a story I heard a while ago, about a man walking along the beach with God, and how God promised to always be there for the man, and pointed to the two sets of tracks. Yet as the man's life went on, he found when times were hard for him, when he suffered, he saw only one set of footprints and he cried out to God, asking why God had abandoned him. To which God replied, "Those were the times I carried you."
I can't remember where or how I first heard this story but it's been coming back to me a lot lately. I Googled it this morning, and found that it was actually based upon a poem written by Mary Stevenson in the 1930s - you can read about it here: Footprints in the Sand.
Here's the original poem.
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"
The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you."
I've decided to let God carry me for a while.