In the past week rain has soaked the soil in Denver, Colorado. Typically, we don’t get a lot of moisture in the form of rain, but an anomalous weather system brought much water to the earth surrounding us.
This means that when Grace ventures out for her daily walks, her feet and body become dressed in mud. Literally, the mushy texture of mud sticks under her toenails, in between the pads of her feet, and creates a caked-on natural body armor. Flecks of soil mixed with water attach to her feet, belly and legs. She gets very messy.
Mud – A soft sticky matter resulting from the mixing of water and earth.
Through out the Bible, mud rarely appears in a positive or encouraging light. Mud describes the disobedient (Proverbs 25:26), the impotent power of man (Job 10:19), the rebellious consequences of the godless (Isaiah 10:6), and the impact of the unrighteous (Ezekiel 34:18-19). Yet, two examples offer hope: Psalm 40:2 – “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” and Jesus interaction with a man who was born blind, as recorded in John 9.
In these two instances I notice the healing power of God when one is proverbially stuck. Both the psalmist, David, and the man born blind get rescued by God.
David opened Psalm 40 with praise – thanking God for His help in the past. Because God came to the aid of David during tough times, David felt confident that God could help him in his current messy situation.
Perhaps David felt stuck, so the best thing he knew to do was to focus on God’s redemptive actions of the past. Like Grace, our dog, and David, the psalmist, I have felt stuck. Sometimes the demands of life have caused my feet to feel as though they are captive to mud. At other times I have felt like I can’t move and navigate difficult relational issues, financial concerns, and the impact of physical pain. We all experience feeling stuck at times in life.
In what areas of your life do you feel stuck? Maybe you notice this in your relationship with God, your interactions with family or friends, in regards to the demands of work and ministry, or linked to discerning how to live wisely with integrity? Take a moment to wonder about any spaces in your life where things are messy and you feel stuck.
David’s antidote to being stuck was offering praise. He looked for ways in his life that God demonstrated His faithfulness and thanked Him. Gratitude often changes our perspective and guides our hearts out of the sticky mire that causes us to struggle to move forward.
Take a moment and thank God for His faithfulness in the past. Look for God’s presence, power, and peace in your life. Think of at least five things for which to offer gratitude to God.
Another example of God’s healing hand with mud occurred when Jesus healed a man who was born blind. Although His disciples assumed the man’s blindness resulted from sin, Jesus pointed out that the man’s inability to see offered the opportunity to display the work of God in his life. Wow! I love the redemptive nature of God.
The messy, difficult life of this blind man changed when he met the compassion of Jesus. Jesus made mud in this messy situation and performed a miracle. Jesus, the Light of the world, destined this man to no longer live in darkness, but to see the light and live in the freedom of God.
Jesus got His hands dirty when He made the mud, combining His own saliva with the dirt of the earth. He placed this mud upon the unseeing eyes and instructed the man to go wash which resulted in the ability to see. Jesus met this man where he was. Although the man then endured persecution for speaking the truth associated with his miraculous healing, he still chose Jesus, believing in Him and worshipping Him. God used mud to heal. The man lived courageously and confidently because of God’s presence in his life.
Remarkably mud contains healing elements. Today mud can be used to draw out impurities from the skin, exfoliate dead skin cells, relax sore muscles and joints, improve skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, and relieve pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Mud made by God brought healing to the blind man in the days of Jesus, and mud continues to offer restoration and freedom from life’s ailments today. The mud made by Jesus cleansed the toxins or impurities preventing the man’s sight, thus bringing healing, freedom, and hope.
Consider where you need freedom. Freedom from issues like worry, fear, deceit, confusion, pride, and isolation, as well as physical weakness or pain. Envision Jesus spitting upon some dirt, creating mud. Think about God’s mud bringing a miracle to those places in your life that remain stuck in captivity, desperate for deliverance and healing.
How might God display His compassion and kindness to these blind and messy parts of your being? Receive the healing balm of God.
God mixes mud to meet the messiness of life. He loves us so much that He doesn’t mind getting dirty in order to meet our needs, so bring those stuck spaces in your soul to the Lord. Let God’s healing touch encounter those areas where you need freedom and hope. Let’s look to the Light of the world to bring His light and liberty to our living, thanking Him for His activity in the past and anticipating His presence in the future. God redeems.
As I wash the mud stuck to Grace’s paws and underbody I remember God’s goodness. Remember with me that God is Good; He loves us; and He meets our messiness with His compassion, healing, and freedom.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
John 9:35-38 – Jesus heard that they had thrown him [the man born blind] out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Don Everts. Jesus with Dirty Feet: A Down-to-Earth Look at Christianity for the Curious Skeptical. Downers Grove, IL. 1999.
John Burke. Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others through the Eyes of Jesus. Ada, MI. 2013.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Elevation Worship. Same God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LawxIZE9ePE
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
May 12 – Littleton, CO
Breathe Retreat – A two hour spiritual retreat for women (no cost) – Join us! Email me for more information.
May 28 – June11 – Quarryville, PA
Black Rock Retreat – Soul care and teaching for the Black Rock Staff.