Thursday, September 25, 2003

[Out of the Mire]

Psalm 40:2
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.
(Whole Chapter: Psalm 40 In context: Psalm 40:1-3)
Psalm 69:14
Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.

1. An area of wet, soggy, muddy ground; a bog.
2. Deep slimy soil or mud.
This morning around 3 am, I was laying in bed trying to sleep, going over a conversation I’d had with a girl who is struggling to let go and give everything over to God. As I thought about it and prayed for her, the word “mire” suddenly popped into my head (coincidence? I think not). Unfortunately, I couldn’t really get around to typing this up last night, so I made a note to myself to post this sometime soon. So here it is.

Let’s talk about a mire. A mire, according to that definition I just listed above, kind of resembles a quicksand effect, doesn’t it? At least, you certainly wouldn’t want to get stuck in one. But let’s say you are stuck in a mire. First, instinctively, you struggle on your own to get out. But the mire sucks you in even further. When you realize this, your next instinct is to give up. But of course, gravity is still a factor, and you’re still sinking. No matter what you do, you are being pulled down. Now let’s say someone comes along, and sees you in the mire. He or she offers to help pull you out. If you let this person help you, you’re probably going to get out because the force helping you comes from the outside. But what if you don’t realize they can help you? “I’ve already tried to get out. It’s impossible.” The person replies to you that he or she is on solid ground, so he or she has a foothold, unlike you. But you are stubborn, determined that if you can’t get yourself out, no one can. Meanwhile, you keep sinking.

We’re faced with an identical dilemma in life, both before we become Christians, and very often after we become Christians. I think the before dilemma pretty well explains itself, but what about after we become Christians? Very often, after we become Christians, we try to hold on to bits of our old life. Although we’re out of the deep end of the mire, we keep slipping back in because we are unwilling to let Christ pull us the rest of the way out. We thank Him for pulling us out, but we ask Him to set us down right back by the edge, because we don’t want change too soon. The idea of a whole new life frightens us, even if it’s accompanied by a promise of safety. We hold on to the old ways and start sinking again. Then, we struggle to ‘fix’ things on our own. Pretty soon, we realize, we can’t do it on our own, but often, instead of asking for help, we just give up. We’ve already called on Christ, so why would He want to come back and help us again? Meanwhile, He calls to us, offering His hand. Do we accept or not? It’s a matter of giving everything over to Him and letting Him set us where He wants us, where we’re safe.

Are you out of the mire yet?

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