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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When Life is Manure and Mud

Hi Friends,

Well, this week isn't going exactly as planned. Case in point - yesterday Joelle and I planned on a nice little ride on our horses. Instead, our ride was cut short by a tumble into the mud and a face full of horse poop.  We were only 20 minutes into our ride when Joelle's horse got scared, scrambled sideways up a hill, and Joelle slipped off into the muddy puddle … a puddle which happened to form in the exact place where her horse poops in the pasture after a water pipe burst in the barn. Perfect timing, perfect placement, the perfect coming-together of accidents, mishaps, and brokenness to end up with a face full of manure and mud.

Sometimes life is like that.

Sometimes things go awry and we end up covered in mud (and poo).

So, for those times when you've landed in the mud and are covered in stink, here are a few thoughts from C.S. Lewis that have encouraged me:

1) From Screwtape Letters (remember this is the demon Screwtape talking to his nephew Wormword):  "We want him [Wormwood's 'patient' that they are trying to lure from his faith] to be in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear.  There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human's mind against the Enemy [i.e., God].  He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.

2) From Mere Christianity: "We must not be surprised if we are in for a rough time.  When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well (in the sense that some of his bad habits are now corrected) he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly.  When troubles come along -- illnesses, money troubles, new kinds of temptation - he is disappointed.  These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level: putting him into situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed of being before.  It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us."

3) And my favorite, from Mere Christianity:  "If we let Him - for we can prevent Him, if we choose - He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a ... dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.  The process will be long and in parts very panful, but that is what we are in for.  Nothing less.  He meant what He said."

So, when you find yourself thrown into a muddy, poopy puddle in life, remember that mud (or even manure) is not permanent. God's got just the soap for that! You will be dazzling and radiant in His sight. 

May you be showered with the wonder of God's grace and love!


Jessica White said...

You don't know how much I needed this today, Marlo. Yesterday morning we woke up to a flooded living room thanks to 2-3" of rain falling in about 4 hours. It was not how I wanted to spend my Sunday morning. It ruined my attitude of worship that I so desperately needed to have. But God turned my heart around and let me go spend the afternoon helping my sister in law move apartments. She doesn't share my faith and she needed encouragement and a shoulder to cry on as life for her is also a challenge. God reminded me that no matter how bad things get I always have Him and He never fails. I need to stay busy being a light and a witness in the hard times.

Marlo Schalesky said...

Thanks, Jessica! Sorry about your living room (ugh) but glad God used it all for his purposes anyway.