Footprints in the Snow

Before the advent of television, story telling was a wonderful tradition in Irish homesteads. Particularly during the long winter evenings, neighbours would gather in around a roaring log or turf fire to recount their old tales. There is a little story (possibly true) which I heard many years ago that somehow made a lasting impression on me, and I never fail to think of it when I see the ground covered in pure white snow…  

One evening a man, having made his journey on foot through deep snow, sat at a bar drinking pint after pint. After some time he looked through the blur of cigarette smoke and was shocked to see his young son standing there. “How on earth did you know where I was son?” He asked with concern.

“Dad,” replied the little boy, “I saw you slipping out of the house, and then I noticed your footprints in the snow. I couldn’t keep up with you, but your footprints were my guide!  Placing my feet in each footprint, I walked on and on through the cold night… and eventually I found you here.” 

The lesson is clear – our children can follow in our footsteps, and so we must be careful where those footsteps lead! Sadly I am reminded of the amount of alcohol that is consumed around the Christmas season in Ireland and the fact that many families have been adversely affected by the over-consumption of alcohol at all times of the year.

The Bible does not tell us when Jesus was born but we know why He was born… “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet unto the way of peace.” (Luke 1v79)

Surely there can be no peace when an addiction of any type has us in its clutches? Jesus said: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1v18) If someone reading this has a problem with alcohol or any other drug, remember that the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and wants to heal you… to set you free, for “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8v36) Why not ask Him to forgive you and to heal you now, for it is His will that you would get the best out of this life – and be with Him forever in the next life.

Having heard the stories of former addicts, how encouraging it is to know that their lives now give testimony to the fact that “with God all things are possible!” (Luke 1v37)

Praise God that He can place our footsteps “on the path of the just” which “is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4v18) This is a path which we will want our children to follow us in!

 

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