Sunday, March 21, 2010

Clarity #4 The water is STILL mucky!

This has been a series about 'muck' in our lives. So what about it?

  1. God is bigger than the 'muck' in our lives.
  2. Muck/silt has good qualities to it: the silt that is left behind produces fertile soil which is ground for crops. Silt left behind can produce barrier islands that provide protection for the land.
  3. When muck overwhelms, over runs and consumes us we need to step back away from the muck and ask God to give us His perspective which is far broader, far bigger.
You set out on a hike at the bottom of the path, follow the rippling creek higher and higher over a rocky path in the midst of rustling trees and forest fauna. The strenuous hike finally leads to the top where you stand awed at the beauty and majesty of the scene below you. Beauty and majesty?! That is where you started! In the parking lot, circling to find a parking spot, sweltering in the heat of summer. Beauty and majesty?! But from above you take in the landscape that includes a beautiful river, a sailboat skimming easily and lazily along, an eagle soaring in the skies, the blueness of the sky...yes! The air is cool and refreshing. Beauty and majesty! It does look so different from this high perspective.

So you've enjoyed your picnic lunch, taken your pictures of the splendor below, breathed in the cool, refreshing's time to return to the muck. You pass beautiful spots on the way down. You watch your step so as not to slip on loose rocks. You hear the sound of the rushing creek as you get closer and closer to the parking lot. Finally there you are hit once again with the heat of the summer, cars parked so closely together you notice another car has left a little crease on your door where theirs touched yours. The muck is tell yourself quickly, "God is bigger than the muck, muck produces something good, there is a bigger perspective, God is bigger!..." step by step you are immersed. You know with your head but struggle with your heart and emotions.

The Psalmist said, "The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow." Ps. 116:3. Entangled, anguish, overcome...are smothering, choking, grievous words. That describes the intense experience of overwhelming "muck". How do you survive here? How do you make it through another day? The Psalmist then says, "Then I called on the name of the Lord: 'O Lord, save me!' " His machinations and solutions have been exhausted. There is only one thing left. "O Lord, save me!" All too often that is what we do as our last resort. But, better late than never. And what comes next? "The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion." Rest--and wait. God is gracious, righteous and full of compassion. He is still way above the muck. He knows all the purposes of it and the outcome. When all around you wag their tongues and shake their heads at you, as Job's peers did in his unbearable circumstances, God is gracious, righteous and full of compassion. Rest. Wait. The muck WILL eventually settle; the water will clear and you will be able to see the bottom again.

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