Out of the Miry Clay

 

enlight1

The Jordan River, Israel

Sometimes I sink into the mire of my journey. It is if I am walking through thick, deep clay, barely able to take another step. All the prayers and promises I have held on to for so long suddenly do not bring comfort or courage. I feel as if I cannot take another step.

It doesn’t happen to me often, but when it does, I am immobilized. For just a time, all the faith of my mothers eludes me. I am stuck, fearful, and in search of a word from God that has the power to release me and guide me forward. The promises from the Holy promise maker seem not enough when I am so weary of the journey. I protest and lament, complaining that the way is too hard and long.

When I have nursed despair long enough, I begin surveying what has worked before. I go through message and melody that might hold the power to restore my will. Often, I will recall the words of the hymn, “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside.
Bear me through the swelling current,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.

The Prophet Isaiah reaches me with this word of hope.

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

– Isaiah 43:2 New International Version (NIV)

And Jeremiah’s conversation with God hits me squarely with a hefty dose of reality.

The Lord answers Jeremiah:
β€œIf you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
 then how can you contend with horses?
 And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
 then how will you do in the swelling of the Jordan?”

– Jeremiah 12:5

God still calls out to each of us with words of hope if we are open to hearing. The miry days will come again, no doubt. No life escapes that. I’m sure I will once again struggle through the mud, but one thing I have learned well comes from the words of the Psalmist.
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

– Psalm 40:1-2

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