Our vehicle was stuck halfway off the road. We should have easily pulled back onto the road after the emergency vehicle passed, but the right wheels sunk deeper into the soft, rain-saturated soil. I got out and tried to push, but as the rut deepened, it was clear, we would not make our son’s recital without help. We piled the kids into the grandparent’s car and sent them on while we waited for the tow truck to come.
Panic and frustration ensued when I lost control of the situation. I felt the pressure of blocking traffic, the perceived expectations of my children, and the overwhelming pridefulness of not being able to get out of my mess. Sounds silly to panic over something that is an inconvenience rather than an actual life and death emergency, but it happened that my fight or flight mechanism had gone a bit haywire. In the months before being stuck in the mud, I had found myself trapped and snared by other people’s wrongdoing or rotten luck. It left me stuck in physical attack mode, and gasping for air. You see, I have had large objects fall from trucks traveling in front of me and even experienced my own car’s throttle stuck on open at 50 miles an hour during rush hour traffic. Consequently, I look for an attack and stay on high alert for trouble.
That kind of fear-based life is exhausting! God wants me to mature in faith and look more for His blessings than I’m looking for trouble. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Fact: We will have trouble. Response: God has overcome that trouble. Taking heart is where I recognize that these earthly experiences are not the end of my story.
God is teaching me to take heart and sit in the muck until help arrives. Sitting on that narrow road waiting for help, my husband and I prayed and opened our eyes, ready for the blessings of the Lord to arrive. Twenty minutes later, two police cruisers pulled up, as well as an oversized pick-up truck whose driver happened to toss chains in the bed of the truck that day. The truck’s massive size had us out in 30 seconds. We didn’t have to wait for the tow truck to arrive, after all.
No one likes to feel their life sinking into the muck and mire of difficult circumstances. I have often found myself worn out grasping for the strength I needed for rescue. It's exhausting! Are you exhausted? Never forget God blesses us in the waiting, and He has some pretty dramatic rescue stories, including Jesus dying on the cross for all of us who are stuck in the pattern of sin.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT:
King David described the scene this way: “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 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” (Psalm 40:1-2). According to David God calls us, in our seasons of waiting, to cry out consistently for help, and then to be patient as God acts in His own time.
Look at a situation where you needed rescue. It can be an earthly or God-ordained rescue, it doesn’t matter. This is simply an exercise of observing the components of your rescue. What decisions caused you to be stuck? What things did you try to free yourself? Were you afraid? Did anything calm your anxiousness? How long did it take to be rescued? Were you secure in the one doing the rescue? If so, why or why not?
David learned to wait patiently on God because he familiarized himself with God’s character and pattern of rescue. The Bible is filled, from beginning to end, with examples of how He rescues us. Get to know God’s dependability and practice trust, waiting, and taking heart in all circumstances. God will not leave you in the ditch.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for faithfully rescuing me time and time again. Whenever Your rescue looks differently than I think it should or doesn’t come in the timing I want, help me to trust in You all the more, and praise You for all the blessings I have around me. Always You are good. Amen.
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