Dodging the puddles

Navigating through the mud puddles isn't always an easy task.

Navigating through the mud puddles isn’t always an easy task.

God will make a way for us through the deep and threatening places of life.

His people never had to swim in dangerous waters as God led them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. God split the seas and the rivers. They walked across dry ground to redemption from their Egyptian oppressors. When the people finally were ready to trust and obey God and enter the land, the priests stepped into the water in faith, and God parted the Jordan River to usher His people to the home He had prepared for them.

So why do we, as believers in Christ, stop in our tracks at a few mud puddles between us and the life God has for us?

If the Holy Spirit is guiding, there is no reason to fear. God will make a way through the muddy passages and sweeping oceans between us and where He wants us to be.

Perhaps we are facing chasms of doubt, or shadows from mountains of pain and grief threaten to hide the path before us. Maybe we are afraid to get our feet wet, to step through the waters because we may be swallowed whole. Do we turn back? Do we ignore God’s call to the other side?

God is good. He is kind, and His patience is long. God’s grace reaches farther than our fear and our failure. There is no risk to follow Him. He is with us for every step, and every leap over and around the puddles that threaten us. The very spirit of our Resurrected Savior is alive in us! God has redeemed us, and He will triumph over every circumstance. Holding His nail-scarred hand, we can take each step with Jesus, confident and secure in His love.

Now this is what the Lord says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.”

This is what the Lord says—
who makes a way in the sea,
and a path through surging waters,
who brings out the chariot and horse,
the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)—
“Do not remember the past events,
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

– Isaiah 43:1-2, 16-19

The lukewarm mess

As I drove to church yesterday morning through the mess of our driveway and lane, I got an up close view of these verses in Revelations 3.

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.
– Revelations 3:15-16

The private road to my house

On one side of the lane, the side with an abundance of shade from the surrounding woods, snow remained from a storm that cancelled school most of last week. The other side of the lane, warmed by the sun, was finally clear with grass showing. In between was the mud and ice pit drive that we had to slosh and swerve through to get to the county road.

It’s the middle, lukewarm path that’s often the biggest mess.

God says that He wishes we were hot or cold, but not in-between. Looking at my road, that makes sense.

God wants us to make our choice, not fake our choice. He longs for us to decide to follow Him with our whole hearts, with all that we are. He wants our full commitment, no matter what. He doesn’t want us to pretend we are His, and then skip out on what’s important to Him because it’s not convenient. God doesn’t give us His Son’s name so we can act like it’s a secret or it doesn’t matter. It does. He does. Splashing in the lukewarm water may be fun for a time, until our souls are caked in mud and our shoes are stuck in the slushy, filthy potholes of life.

Thankfully God knew our propensity to be drawn into the mud puddles, and He sent us the Light of the World and the Living Water. When we look to His Son for rescue and healing, His light dries up the soggy ruts in our hearts, and then He power washes us clean.

Be gracious to me, God,
according to Your faithful love;
according to Your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
Wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
– Psalm 51:1-2, 10

As for my driveway, I’m looking forward to the sun drying out the mess so I can get a car wash.