The hard times of life happen to everyone, making us feel as if we are walking through mud. We move, but we don’t seem to get anywhere. We make a little progress, only to slip on the slimy bottom of our own weaknesses and sins. Far too often we reach out for whatever branch or hand we think will help: anger, drugs, alcohol, food or anything else that will restore our balance or at least cover up the mud we’re struggling against. Those things seem to help at first, much as a wad of bubble gum may fix the hole in a dam for a moment or two. Before long, though, we are back in the mud, or rather we realize that we have never left it.
My dad’s favorite hymn was “The Solid Rock.” (Words by Edward Mote in the 1830’s). Dad, and Mr. Mote, understood how to handle the mud holes of life.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”
Surely this is the answer to our mud hole experiences, to stand on rock, on The Rock, not on sinking sand. We can do it by the grace of God.
Psalm 69: 14 “(you) rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink.”
Psalm 37:23-24 “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”
And then, of course, there is the story Jesus told of the wise man who built his house on the rock (Matthew 7).
We will still go through mud holes, but we can do so confident that there is, below the silt, solid rock beneath our feet. We need not doubt that we will make it through. Sometimes our only choice is to put ourselves in neutral and let God do it all. Other times we can use what he has taught us and avoid most of the mud. But here is the best news of all:
Nothing–not even a million slips into the mud holes– can separate us from God’s love. It is His nature to love and nothing we do will change that.