“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1–3
The phrase talking about God lifting David out of the miry clay reminded me of a day when I was about five or six years old. As I recall, my family, together with a number of other church members, were at a church members property helping with a building project. I don’t remember what the nature of the work for that day was but I do remember that the work was outside, that the ground was wet from recent rains, and that there was a lot of very sticky clay in the area we were working in.
At my age I wasn’t really any help when it came to the actual work. I’m guessing that I and my brothers were more of a distraction for my parents when it came to getting work done than any help. So most of what I was doing that day was running around playing, attempting to stay relatively close to my parents, and trying to stay warm and dry.
Toward the end of the work day I was really getting tired from all the running back and forth, and in my efforts to not get left behind my path led me right through a stretch of exposed, wet, and very sticking clay. It took about three or four steps for the soles of my shoes to become thickly covered with that clay and they went from being just a few ounces in weight to a few pounds, and for my already tired legs they felt like they weighed tons.
I tried to scrape the clay off but it seems to like my shoes better than any rocks or sticks and the more I worked at it the more tired and frustrated I became and the farther away everyone got. I gave up on the clay and tried to run to catch up but with my tired legs and those clay coated shoes it was all just too much and I ended up just plodding through the mud sobbing with every step.
How I wished someone would come and rescue me from the miry clay!
I don’t remember who it was that finally rescued me but eventually someone heard my crying and had sympathy for me and came and helped me clean my shoes and took my hand and walked with me till we caught up with everyone else.
God’s like that with us. It’s true that sometimes life gets hard, and things get messy and sticky, and we feel like it’s all too much. But if we’re patient, and that’s the critical, and often most difficult part of the process, the part about being patient, we find that at just the moment when we’ve reached our limit our Heavenly Father is there to help us. Yes, we may be tired, and there may have been pain and tears, but his strength is there when we need it most and we find that we’re stronger and better able to go on because of the experience we’ve gained as we’ve struggled.
O Father, thank you for letting us get wiser and stronger as we struggle, and thank you for being there to help us when it all becomes too much to handle. We love you. Thank you for loving us more.