Wouldn’t it be nice if every path was smooth and every day was sunshiny? Goodness knows, I know I would love it! But sometimes, for no reason whatsoever, we get the storms rolling in. Then as soon as the rain passes, we’ve got the mud to deal with. That’s how it’s been lately around here. So much rain that I feel like I’m living in a swamp.
The other day, I was going to be real smart and put on my rain boots to walk down by the creek. Well, my feet stayed nice and dry. But the boots didn’t help too much when I lost my footing and fell flat on my bee-hind. I left a nice mud slick behind to mark the trail! It was a disaster!
As I was tossing yet another mud-covered load in the washer, I began thinking about why we have to trudge through mud in our lives. Jesus himself said that in this world we would have trouble. But He also said that He has overcome the world.
So, if God has overcome the world and if we love God…
Why in tar-nation do we have trouble? Why do we get muddy britches? Why do we have pain and heartache? Are we being punished? Are we in trouble? What’s the deal?
People were wondering this a long time ago when Jesus was walking along with his friends and they saw a blind man sitting beside the road. His friends immediately thought that this guy had done something wrong and was being punished. This is often our first thought, too. When things don’t go our way, we immediately throw our hands up to heavens and say, “Why me? What did I do wrong?’ Jesus’ friends said, “Is this man blind because of something wrong he did, or something wrong his parents did?”
Jesus replied, “neither.”
We are so conditioned to think only of ourselves and how everything relates to our own lives. We don’t often get that bigger picture that God has in mind.
If we don’t experience pain, how can we ever help those in pain?
If we don’t experience need, how can we ever fill the needs of those around us?
If our hearts never break, how can we help mend the hearts of others?
Going through difficult times grows us as a person. God knows this. We do, too, even if we don’t want to consciously admit it. For example, If I had never gone through financial difficulty (and, Mama, that’s putting it lightly) in my own life, I would never know how to help other moms get control of their money situation.
One day that stands out in my mind was when I was standing in the checkout line at a store. My heart was beating furiously in my chest because I was so afraid my card was going to be rejected. I had checked my balance before I left home and I had $17 in my account. My little girl was having a birthday in the morning and I wanted desperately to get her a gift. I had a few things I had stored away, but I wanted to get her something new and splashy. I picked up a doll bed and a doll to go with it. I was adding it up in my head and it came to sixteen dollars and some cents. At the last minute, I rushed out of the aisle and put the doll back, scared to death that my card would be rejected–again. For her birthday that year, she got a new doll bed with one of her old dolls tucked in it. She didn’t care, but I did.
That was a pretty muddy day, but it caused me rise up and get in control, to develop skills in money management that I would have not done otherwise. And today I’m helping moms do the same. And more than that, I understand the pain they are going through. God had a purpose the whole time, and I’m thankful He allowed me to go through it.
When Jesus answered his friends, he said, “This (his blindness) happened so that the power of God could be seen in him” (John 9:3). God’s light shines best through cracked pots (and muddy britches). You may be going through some muddy days, but I know that God is doing a mighty work in you. He is going to sustain you and strengthen you. He will always be enough for you. And, although His answers don’t always come when we want them, His timing is perfect! Keep trusting Him, and keep holding on as you walk on that muddy path.
He is going to cause the sun to shine again. He is going to turn your tears to laughter. He is going to raise you up to be stronger, mightier, wiser, and more glorious than ever before. Your time is coming, Mama. Keep trudging on.