…and Jeremiah sunk down into the mud. Jeremiah 38:6
My oldest brother and I had a favorite thing to do when we were little. It involved a couple illegal ingredients for little kids. The event was so secret it had to take place behind the shed where mom could’t see, but it was worth all the secrecy! In our back yard, we had an old cement fish pool. Before dad filled it in with dirt and mom made it a flower garden, it used to collect rain water. If we could get out to play before the water drained through the cracks in the cement, we could scoop up our first ingredient; water. Dirt; the second ingredient was easier to find. The third magic ingredient was the tricky one! If we could get rain water and dirt we knew all we needed was shaving cream. Our house was tiny so sneaking out the door with two handfuls of shaving cream squirted as quietly as possible from dads shaving cupboard took some skill. When we managed to pull it off we’d create the worlds best mud pies in the back of Jim’s big yellow Tonka Dump Truck. With sticks to stir and army men and toy animals to stick in the mud pie, we were set for a long afternoon of great fun! When I became a mother myself, it occurred to me that mom probably knew exactly what we were doing and just enjoyed the peace and quiet and maybe even the thought of her oldest two playing together happily.
When I read this line about the Prophet Jeremiah, I remembered the sight of all those toys sticking in the mud pies we used to make. It got me to thinking about the times we get stuck in the mud ourselves. Sometimes we wallow and struggle and just dig in deeper. Sometimes we get stuck because of the choices we make and sometimes we get stuck as a result of the choices others make. The good news is, mud is different than cement. We can get out! It might take some work but it’s always worth the struggle.
Last Saturday our home parish hosted a Lenten Ladies Conference and the speakers were beautiful, faith filled, inspiring women. All of them shared stories of times and events in their life that could easily have left them stuck in the mud and mess. Some had experienced tragic loss, some had overcome personal battles and all of them were trying to team up with Jesus to get through the everyday messiness of life without getting stuck. Their stories and their perseverance were powerful. They choose not to stay stuck in the pain, sorrow, frustration and everyday annoyances that plague us all. The beautiful thing is that they all came out of the mud and the mess changed. They allowed their experiences to make them stronger, wiser, more prayerful and more trusting. God doesn’t want us to stay right where we are. The truth is, we are either moving toward him or away from him, never staying just where we are. Staying just where we are is like being stuck in the mud and the Father wants us to ask him for help to get unstuck so we can move closer to him.
A Seed To Plant: Are you stuck? What are you stuck in the middle of right now that is preventing you from moving closer to the Father? Hold out your hand and ask him to pull you out!
Blessings on your day!
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