These past few weeks have been a time of trials. I was headed down life’s road and all of a sudden, my tires hit a mud hole. While the muddy circumstances didn’t stop me instantly, they slowed me down. As I rolled forward, the mud became thicker and my wheels began to spin. Just like that, I was knocked off track and into a bog.
Suddenly, the skies seemed menacing and the light faded. A storm was brewing, one I feared would worsen this mud and cause me to end up hopelessly mired. My breathing increased and my palms sweated. My eyes were fixed on the circumstances and they looked awful.
Have you been there? Driving along in life, singing and praising ’cause life’s good. Then all of sudden, you lose a job or someone you love and now you’re in a ditch. As you sit and wonder what to do, you recall the preacher telling you to keep singing and praising God during the hard times.
But … you’re not feeling it.
As a child of Mississippi, I know mud. Whether it’s the red clay of the Piney Woods region or the rich, black loam of the Delta, Mississippi’s mud is famous. Some folks love it and others … not so much. Personally, I prefer hard-packed earth or smooth pavement in life. But, I learned how to drive on muddy country roads, and so, I know them. When I find myself bogged down, my eyes search the woods for something inspiring and beautiful. Something like the southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora).
The southern magnolia is a magnificent tree and its blooms are divine. It thrives in swampy conditions and seems to gain strength there. Magnolias are resilient and evergreen. If they can thrive in less-than-ideal conditions, maybe I can too.
“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:2
As this magnolia tree shelters me, I love to imagine it represents God’s presence and protection as He hovers over me and my muddy situations. There ‘neath its canopy, God helps me see a way out of this bog.
Mud happens. Sometimes it can be avoided, but not always.
Are you stuck in sticky circumstances? Maybe you’ve recently lost a job or a loved one has passed. Life can quickly bog you down. I pray you realize you are not alone.
More help in my new book, Mud Holes and Magnolias: Lessons on Faith from Mama’s Stories