Stuck in the mud

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Written By Gwen Mlondobozi

As a child, I played the game stuck in the mud. The rules are simple: whoever leads the game runs around and taps people. If you are tapped, you are stuck, and the only way you can move is if someone else who is free, comes and crawls between your legs to set you free. Even as a child, being stuck was undesirable, unsettling, and annoying. As an adult things haven’t changed much; being stuck still sucks.

We all have moments where we've been stuck in the mud of life. We have all found ourselves in muddy, murky waters where it is dirty, cold, and lonely. We've felt isolated and hopeless but, somehow still stand, waiting for our Saviour. Sometimes waiting is not pretty or easy and very rarely comes without a toll. 

There are moments in life when we have the pleasure of waiting with excitement; like when a girl is waiting for her love to call and he does so exactly when he said he would. Those are sweet, beautiful moments. However, this is not always our story. Sometimes waiting is not in the comfort of a warm bed with hot chocolate in hand, but out in the cold with mud caked up to our knees.

The disciples were in a storm (Matthew 8:23-27). Jesus was asleep, and his disciples feared for their lives, thinking that they would be swept over by the storm. The disciples were stuck.

Ruth became a widow who would not leave her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:6-18). In love and loyalty, she stayed, not knowing what life would look like for her. She did what she thought was the right thing to do, even though no one would have faulted her for leaving; she stayed in what looked to be a hopeless situation. Ruth was stuck.

Job faithfully served the Lord yet; still, he lost everything (Job 1:13-22). He was stuck in grief, without comfort from his friends. His pain was not something that he had brought upon himself, it was pain that the Lord had allowed Satan to bring upon him. Job was stuck.

Hannah could not bear a child (1 Samuel 1:1-11). She felt ashamed and worthless and bore the pain of that every time one of her husband’s other wives bore a child. They mocked her for her inadequacy. Hannah was stuck.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were esteemed members of society (Daniel 3:8-23). They were appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar to work and serve him and his idol gods. When they refused to serve any idol gods, the enraged king had them bound and thrown into a burning furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were stuck. 

David displeased the Lord greatly when he stayed home from battle (1 Samuel 11: 1-27). During this time, he impregnated Bathsheba - a married woman. When he learned of the child she was carrying, David had her husband killed. In his sin, he sinned even more. David was stuck.

Stuck is not pretty or clean. But once you are there, that is where you are. In frustration and in your own strength, you may be tugging and pulling, perhaps even pushing yourself deeper into the mud. I do not know how and what caused you to be stuck in that mud. But if you are in it, you are in it. The dirt has begun to weigh you down and you are not sure how you will make it out. But throwing your body forward would be giving up, so stand and keep standing until your Saviour comes for you. Giving up is always an option but, do not choose it; choose life even with the odds against you. Stand.

If you are waiting, waiting in the grime and dirt of life, waiting for Jesus to come and save you from your situation, as you wait, yield to Him, don’t lose hope, wait on Him. It may not feel like He is coming quick enough, or when you anticipate Him to come, but He is coming. He may not come looking the way you expect Him to. Instead, He comes as a poor, lowly man, the son of a carpenter, from a small village that no one thought any good could come out of. He will surprise you, but you will not be surprised if you do not wait. 

Becoming unstuck is not on your timeline but the Lord’s, and that's what makes faith difficult. He never promised it would be easy, but He did promise to be with us. Painfully, some of us will not experience the freedom of being ‘unstuck’, but even then, God is still good.

Mud surrounds us. Some of us are walking towards it, some of us are in it, and some of us have walked through it.

Jesus calmed a storm, and the disciples saw a miracle of note.

Ruth’s situation took an unexpected turn when she married a good man and became the great, great grandmother to a King.

Job’s life was restored, he gained far more than what he lost and lived to see four generations of his family.

Hannah had a baby boy, Samuel, who was anointed to appoint God's chosen kings.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a heavenly friend in the fire who spared their lives.

David lost his child, yet repented of his sin. Later, Bathsheba bore to him Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived.

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