In a culture where sports is all too often about huge contracts, millions of dollars and massive egos, the Olympic Games can be so refreshing. One fantastic thing I've seen at these games is the amount of sportsmanship that's going on. One such example was when the 110m hurdles former world champion and gold medal winner, Liu Xiang of China, stumbled on his first hurdle and fell to the ground hard. Although hurt and in obvious pain, he got up and started hopping towards the finish line. Two other competitors saw his efforts and cam to his aid, helping him across the finish line. It was truly a great sight with sportsmanship and the Olympic spirit on display for all to see. The image of others helping this man in his time of need is a beautiful picture of friendship. Isn't this what friends do? They help, strengthen, build up, encourage and whatever else needs to be done to help their friend. In Jesus we have just such a friend. Proverbs 18:24 tells us, "But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." He's our constant companion. When I think about Jesus and how much He cares about us and loves us, I can't but help think of the poem "Footprints in the Sand." It describes His commitment to us, regardless of what we're going through. Never forget the friendship He offers us. And sometimes He walks besides us and at other times He carries us :)
FOOTPRINTS IN THE SANDOne 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 noticed that during the most trying periods of my life There have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, when I have needed you most, you have not been there for me?" The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you."