Stuck like Chuck

The last few days, it’s been raining here in West Texas. And when it rains, it gets muddy. 

Not just any old muddy, oh no. That’d be too easy. It’s the deceiving, looks like it’s solid but really it’s quicksand kind of muddy. The kind of mud they write songs about, only this time the songs aren’t about joyriding and slinging it up on the sides of the truck. They are of doom and gloom. 

While trying to traverse the muck the other day, my boot got stuck. The squishy mess enveloped my steel toe and it slipped right off. So there I was, hobbling on one foot, trying not to get my dry sock all muddy. 

When I finally was able to stabilize myself and slide my foot back into my boot, I realized something. There are so many people who get caught up in the muck and mire of life, that they don’t even bother trying to get out. They feel so helpless and messy. 

Now the muck and mud could be a number of things: a rough job, financial hardship, family dysfunction, sickness, unforgiveness, depression, etc. I could go all day with more examples, but it is time to get on with it. For some reason, you’re stuck and you feel hopeless. 

But right there, right in your hopelessness…is where God will lift you. In Psalm 40:2, the Word says “He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay; And he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” 

He wants to pull you out of your mess, out of the destruction that the devil has afflicted you with, and set you upon a firm foundation. He wants to establish your steps and set you back on your race. 

You were never made to dwell in the pit, despite what the devil or the world has told you. You were never meant to live in the darkness and in the muck. You are a child of God. 

After that verse, it says something even more encouraging. In The Message translation, Psalm 40:3 says “He taught me how to sing the latest God song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery abandoning themselves to God.”

When He pulls you out of your mess, He teaches you a new song. A song of praise and abandonment to Him. We should sing that song continually. Over and over again so that we are constantly reminded of His grace and His mercy. Not just grace and mercy, but His complete love for us. He saw you and when you cried out, He came and set you upon a firm foundation of faith. 

Bethel sings a great song that really reminds me of this “new song of praise” that God teaches us. You can find it here and I suggest to take the time to listen. The verses talk about His faithfulness and how He just makes us whole. 

You father the orphan; Your kindness makes us whole; You shoulder our weakness; Your strength becomes our own. 

No matter how hard you try, you aren’t going to be the one to right your ship. You aren’t going to just pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and get out. If you do, you’re just gonna get right back in the mess again. You have to submit. 

I want you to know that no matter what you are going through, no matter the pit you have ended up in, that God is ready to pull you out, set your feet upon a rock and give you a new song to sing. All you have to do is cry out to Him. Humble yourself, let go of your bootstraps and allow Him to work. I promise that He is faithful to do what His Word has set forth. 

Thanks for the read, y’all be safe out there. 

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When words just aren’t enough.

  
Recently, we had a family in our church who lost a child unexpectedly. Like, he was good the day before, gone the next morning. It’s a terrible tragedy for this family. 

What do you say? You fight for the words of comfort to say to them. Eventually, you let the Spirit do the talking because mortal words have little comfort. You just let them cry on your shoulder and pray. 

I had a similar situation when I was in full-time ministry. A family of four were traveling home from visiting family Mexico when they rolled their vehicle. Only two of the four survived, the mother and teenage son passed. I was in my office when I heard the news and just couldn’t believe it. We prayed as a staff for the family and prepped for the services. Since this happened across the border, it was going to take some time for anything to happen. 

A day or two later, the father and his extended family came to plan the service. I had talked to him a handful of times before, but it was always just a little difficult due to the harsh language barrier. Our eyes met and I stood to greet him. He rushed to me and hugged me. We cried together and that was really just it. No words, just love. That was what he needed at the time. 

When a death in the family happens, it’s like your whole world just stops. Nothing else matters. Your mind definitely isn’t in the present and you just can’t find any words to illustrate how you feel. 

The outpouring of love and support is generally a great one. Your church family is around, food is getting dropped off and you just get to reflect. But what happens afterwards? 

That is when it hits. The reality of the whole situation sets in. They aren’t coming back and generally the outpouring that you had up to the funeral is gone. It’s just you and your thoughts. Where do you go from here? As I stated earlier, mortal words aren’t going to help.

It reminds me of when David lost his first son with Bathsheba. He cried and fasted while the child was dying, but when he gots news of the death, he changed. 

“David got up from the floor, washed his face and combed his hair, put on a fresh change of clothes, then went into the sanctuary and worshiped. Then he came home and asked for something to eat. They set it before him and he ate.”

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭12:20‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Everyone was puzzled at what was going on. He just replied, “I can go to him, but he can’t come to me.” He took comfort in the fact that his son was in Heaven and one day, he was gonna see him again. 

You might be going through a loss in your family. It might be the loss of a child, a husband or some extended family. I want to encourage you to get off the floor, clean up and go worship. Nothing in the world can replace the loss that you’ve experienced, but God can fill that hole with His love and supernatural peace that passes all understanding. 

Maybe you are on the outside looking in to this kind situation, just get in there and love on the hurting folks. Be those hands and feet to the body like we’ve been called to do. Sometimes all it takes is a hug and a smile to let them know you’re there. 

As always, thanks for reading and comments/likes are appreciated. Y’all be safe out there.