Once a man dreamed that he was walking along the beach with G‑d. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to G‑d.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that along the path of his life, there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the lowest and saddest times.

This bothered him and he questioned G‑d about it. “G‑d, you said that once I decided to follow You, You’d walk with me all the way. But I see that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. How could You leave me when I needed You most?”

G‑d replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering I was carrying you.”


In the story of the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt, the Torah tells of the Jews’ challenge to G‑d: “Is G‑d in our midst?” The subsequent passage recounts Amalek’s attack on the Jewish nation.

Rashi (Exodus, 17:7-8), based on the Midrash, explains the juxtaposition of these two episodes: The very fact that the Jewish people questioned G‑d’s presence caused the difficulties. Had they realized that G‑d was carrying them all along, G‑d would never have permitted such an attack on His people.

Furthermore, the knowledge that G‑d is carrying and guiding us brings fulfillment to the arduous journey.

Had the dreaming man realized that it was G‑d Who was carrying him, it would not have been so difficult.

“Nostalgia is the realization that things weren’t as unbearable as they seemed at the time.”