Footprints in the Sand

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Among the visitors at a seaside mansion were two gentlemen. The one, a preacher of the gospel of the grace of God, was telling out the glad tidings in the neighborhood; the other, a man of business, was spending a short holiday among his friends.
Many were the earnest questions asked by the latter of the evangelist. Recently the false peace of his earlier years had been disturbed. Faithful servants of God had told out their solemn messages, giving a plain, unmistakable witness of the danger of resting for salvation upon anything save the precious blood of Christ. Hitherto, all his hopes had been in this—that he was sober, honest, and respectable. True, he was a sinner. To this his conscience ever and anon bore testimony; but he always quieted himself with the thought, that, at any rate, his chance was as good as that of most people. Now this refuge of lies had been swept aside; he saw his real position— the awful danger in which he was, and in true conviction, he asked,
"What must I do to be saved?"
It was at the close of a Gospel-preaching, one evening, that the two wended their way to the quiet, deserted shore. The tide was out, and earnestly conversing, they walked along the hard sands.
As yet, the eye of the anxious one was looking within, to seek for something to bring to God. He was hoping to do some great and good work : to answer for his selfish, misspent, sinful life. He knew not yet that the message of salvation was "to him that worketh not"; that "by grace are ye saved, . . . not of works, lest any man should boast."
They had gone some distance in the stillness of that eventide, and turned to retrace their steps.
"My dear friend," said Captain B., the preacher, "you can no more remove the stains of sin by anything you have done, or can do, than you could remove every mark made by you on the sand of this shore."
"The latter I could easily do," was the response.
"Proceed then," answered his companion.
Stooping at first, then kneeling, the other speaker sought to smooth the sand that had been disturbed, but soon found, that while he removed one footprint, he was making others as prominent as, or more so than, those he sought to hide.
"No, you are right in this," he now replied, "I cannot erase the footmarks I have made."
"And yet you seek, by works of your hands, to purge your sins. This also is beyond your power. Now wait but an hour or two, until the rising tide shall advance upon this sand; then look upon the shore, when again the waves retire. All will be even as before; every footprint gone, every trace of our path removed. Thus the flood-tide of the grace of God rises high above the sin of man. Man, in all his sin and weakness, could do naught to cover his transgressions or his sins. In love, God sent His Son, His only Son. This blessed One has offered to God a perfect sacrifice, fully meeting all His righteous claims ; and more than that, glorifying Him about sin. Jesus, the Son of God, is risen from the tomb, and now is seated at the right hand of God. Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
The light broke into the troubled soul. Now he could see it was the grace of God that brought salvation, through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, which cleanseth from all sin. Believing on Him he knew that every stain was gone, every trace of sin removed. By faith, he entered into peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and forthwith, confessing with his mouth the Lord Jesus, sought to tell others of the great things the Lord had done for him.