Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Out of the mud and mire

Psalm 40:1-3

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

I have come out of what I believe to be an intense sifting that has lasted for a little over three years. I never want to go through this kind of sifting again. In more ways that I can count I felt like Jeremiah when he was thrown into a cistern, which was a mud pit. If you have ever been in some deep woods you know that there is nothing pretty about mud and mire. A deep pit was often used to imprison someone. Just like the traps set for us by the enemy. He desires for us to sink down so low and not get back out. Down in that pit is some serious gloom and darkness. The only way you and I can get out is to cry out. Our Redeemer is the only one who can get us out of this kind of pit. I have shared this story before but Morgan has been asking me to tell her stories about when I was little. I grew up on a lot of land. In fact that is all we did was yard work on the weekends. ;) So, one day I am dressed up, looking cute (or so I thought...which I didn't have a lot to work with so I am sure I didn't). I was wearing a long skirt, a red shirt, and my sisters shoes. We were not big on sharing so if you wanted to borrow something you basically had to wear it without asking. If you have had siblings close in age you know what I am talking about. So, I head "out back" to look at the new school that is being built adjacent to our property. The town I grew up in was called "Clay" and clay it was called for a reason. Rich in iron resources and some good ol' mud. So, I take a few steps and begin to sink like quicksand. No lie. Before long I am up past my knees in mud. I began to panic and scream. If my dad was not working he was in that yard. He had lived there from a young age (maybe 9). So, after a while he heard me screaming. I will never forget my relief. He came and began to pull me out. "Daddy what about my shoes?" I cried. Well, of course they were not my shoes. He said, "Big'un if we are getting you out of this the shoes are staying." By the time he pulled me out the shoes had gained some weight with mud. So, yes the shoes stayed and I was relieved yet mixed with fear over them being my sisters shoes that were being buried. My point is that when your God comes to pull you out of the pit you are in...some things are going to have to go. After you have been sifted like wheat, believe me you are going to want those things to go! You can't be free with the extra weight. I don't know what needs to go for you but I can tell you I sure hope you will humble yourself, memorize some scripture and arm yourself in this age of seduction that we live in and not have to have the beating of your life.

We will not be victorious if we continue with our own pet sins and disobedience. God would rather have our obedience than any sacrifice or offering we could bring. He has our best interest at the center of His heart.

I thought today about how much you and I can let external things define our worth. There are so many times I have started out having a great day then gone and gotten on the scales. I refuse to weigh at the doctors office because I believe the only way to weigh is naked. LOL! So, I would hop on the scales and see that number and let it ruin my day obsessing over my weight. I thought about buying some scales the other day and I said out loud in the store, "No! I am not going to stinking let some scales define who I am as a person!" Seriously, when this tent is coming down one day why on earth do I waste my time obsessing over it? When it is said and done that is not what matters.

When you are down in the mire you do not have a firm place to stand. This in turn causes fear and a measure of panic. You wonder how you are going to get out. If you are ever going to get out. Will you die in that pit sinking down as low as you go? Not if you cry out to God and cooperate with Him. Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your heart against Him. Do not harden your heart to the still small voice who is so worthy of your attention and affection. He is worthy of you spending Your whole life on Him. He is our life and the length of our days.

When you get out of the mud and mire, and are standing on a firm Rock, you sing that song of praise...the new song in your heart as loud as you can and to everyone you can.
Morgan cracks me up so bad because she will sing songs that she has made up so loud in stores and as I am telling her to quit I get so tickled while everyone is staring at us.

They go something like this:

"I'm ok, cause your ok. We are ok, because I am ok. I am ok because God is love!"

Y'all with God we are gonna be ok! We will make it! He is love and mercy.

The Lord has given me this scripture twice this week:

Micah 7:7-9 (New International Version)

7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.

Israel Will Rise
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be my light.

Do not let the enemy gloat over you. Shout from your mouth, "I AM FORGIVEN!" Even if you have fallen rise up! Don't stay in the darkness sister or brother: The Lord is Your light! Keep letting Him light the steps before you as you walk in His ways.

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sara@augustfields said...

jenny...this was so powerful to read this morning. thank you for being transparent. for sharing a story that will certainly help me to remember that some stuff is meant to stay in the pit!!

i gotta tell you :) ....i put on sooo much weight with each pregnancy, and it was a stronghold for me. i left some things in the 'pit' and came out with a little humor about it. the last two times i stepped on the scale for my ob i didn't take off my shoes OR put my purse down!! :) the nurse just kinda said....mmmkay....

thank you for sharing your heart, praise God that he carries our burdens.

Warren Baldwin said...

Powerful statement - "When you get out of the mud and mire, and are standing on a firm Rock, you sing that song of praise...the new song in your heart as loud as you can and to everyone you can."

Also liked the one about when we are pulled out of the mud we have to leave some things behind. Inevitably we will.

Good story about being stuck in the mud with great application. My post this morning is about storytelling and our children. I'd like to invite you to visit and read it at Family Fountain.

Pttyann said...

Hello Jennifer
What a wonderful and encouraging post it was all good!!!!!! It's such a wonderful thing to know the Lord and to be sure that he will bring us out of the "pig pen" and help us drop that those old things that hinder us.Hallelujah!!!!
Love ya Jennifer and do have a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

Well Beth, Jr., you have done it again. What a post. Your words are so powerful. I have been like Morgan that I just want to sing out loud HIS blessings. Thanks for your heart felt words,
In Christ,
Nancy in NC

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?