“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”
– Psalm 40:1-2
Have you ever been stuck? Recently, I had a very literal example of what it means to be stuck. When we came home from Nashville a few weeks ago that big “winter storm” hit. First, we had the ice…it covered the ground, it weighed down the trees and it made everyone stay put. (It’s kind of hard to go somewhere when the roads aren’t clear!) Anyway, then came the snow…all 12 inches of it. Now, if the ice didn’t keep you home the snow did. I have never seen so much snow in Missouri! If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed it. It may also be hard to believe that just a few days ago, all that ice and snow finally melted. But it did. Finally, we were able to get outside and do some of the chores that we were not able to do when the snow covered the ground in a nice, big white blanket. There was just this one little thing…and we were trying to be very careful…but it caught us in its sinister grip and wouldn’t let go. This little thing is called mud – and it turns into a very big problem when you get a vehicle stuck in it! Now, I know you’re dying to know what happened but let’s just say we live in a rural area where that slick red mud is very plentiful, okay?
The fact was, we had a truck stuck in the mud, on a downhill slope and it wasn’t going anywhere but down. Then, it began to rain, hard. How do you get out of such a mess anyway? What do you do when you feel stuck in life? In Psalm 40 David says he was stuck in the miry clay, but he got out.
- First of all, when you’re stuck, you’re not going to get out alone! You need help! We could have tried to put our truck in reverse and push, but guess what? We weren’t strong enough! On our own, we would have continued to spin our tires and dig ourselves into a deeper rut. We needed something with at least equal or more strength than the problem. For us, the answer was another vehicle and a good chain. You know what? I can’t help but think that when life has us good and stuck in a mucky mess, there’s only One who has the strength to pull us out, and He’s the same one who pulled David out of the miry clay – God. I see it like this, the Father acts a lot like the vehicle that pulls the other one out of the mud. It’s not stuck, therefore it has the freedom and the ability to help. Do you know that God never gets stuck? There is no problem that He can’t fix! “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?” (Isaiah 40:28a) I also like to think of the chain as the Holy Spirit. Like the chain that connects the truck to the other one that’s going to pull it out, so the Holy Spirit is the link that connects us to the Father. Romans 8:26-27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
- You may need some good advice. It’s one thing to have the right tools, but knowing how to use them properly and effectively is a whole other matter. We had the proper vehicle to pull the other one out and we had the chain, we even had it all hooked up, but we still didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing! I texted a friend and asked for their advice on the situation and they replied with some instructions. Good advice can be a key player when we’re trying to get out of a rut. Unfortunately, it can also be hard to come by these days, but the Bible encourages us to examine the lives of our fellow Christians and seek counsel from the godly. Those who are more experienced in the faith can guide us through the trials that they’ve already been through themselves. I was behind the wheel of the vehicle being pulled out of our muddy mess and being unsure of what gear I needed to be in, I texted my friend back, “In neutral?” The reply came back quickly, “No! Put the truck in reverse so it can help a little.”
- That simple reply put a thought in my mind that brings me to another point that will help us when we get stuck. It’s simply this – put yourself in reverse and help a little! Your friends can’t do all the work for you, if you want to get out of the mess you’re in, you need to want to change. Something (whether it be a wrong choice or discouragement) got you where you were to begin with and being in neutral won’t help you one bit! You need to be in reverse! Go back and change (reverse) what it was that put you in that position. “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14)
So there I was sitting in the cab of the truck waiting to get pulled out by our SUV. The window was rolled down so I could hear any hollered instructions. For a brief moment, I sat there and wondered if what we were doing was really going to work…what if we couldn’t get the truck out of the mud? Then I felt the tug and slowly the truck and I were pulled out. It was the most amazing feeling. On one hand, I felt completely helpless because the other vehicle was doing all the work. Yet, I knew there were key points that I had to keep an eye on in order for it to work too. How good it felt to hop out of the truck and feel the stone gravel under my feet!
Life is a lot like that too. We have to let the Father do all the work, I know, sometimes we feel helpless as to the outcome but not only does He know what He’s doing, He’s strong enough to do it! “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble.” (Psalm 37:39) David found this to be so and if we seek the Lord’s guidance and ask for His help, we will find the Lord just as faithful to us as He was with David.
We have a choice – either to remain stuck in the mud or stand on the solid rock! Which one will you choose the next time you get stuck?
“Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; they mercy, O LORD, held me up.” – Psalm 94:17-18
“This poor man cried and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” – Psalm 34:6