Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stirring the muddy water

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezekiel 29, 30, 31, 32 (NIV)

Ezekiel 32:1-3 (NIV)

1 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month on the first day, the Word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:” “You are like a lion among the nations; you are like a monster in the seas thrashing about in your streams, churning the water with your feet and muddying the streams.” ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:’ “With a great throng of people I will cast my net over you, and they will haul you up in my net.”

Good morning!

Last weekend, our daughter Rachel had taken Joshua and Emily shopping. It had just rained, and five-year-old Joshua was intrigued by the muddy water puddles on the shopping center parking lot. At first, Rachel was not so happy about this. She had taken the time to help the children change into nice clothes for the shopping trip; they had been bathed and were relatively clean. Somehow, jumping into the mud puddles didn’t seem to be part of her day’s plan. Three-year-old Emily quickly followed in her brother’s footsteps, and Rachel didn’t seem to have much luck dissuading them.

Sheer genius can emerge from just a little adversity. Obviously Rachel needed to gain her children’s attention. She took both of them by the hand, one on each side, and jumped as high as she could, landing in a huge mud puddle. The dirty water splattered all over Joshua and Emily. They began to whimper, “Mommy, we’re all dirty!” “Okay,” Rachel snickered as she walked toward the front door. Do you know those children want absolutely nothing to do with mud puddles now? If you even mention going outside and jumping in the puddles, they get this look of angst on their faces and say, “Oh no, we don’t want to jump in the puddles anymore.” It looked like fun for a time. My daughter has her mother's spunk.

Pharaoh liked to muddy the waters. He would stir up dirt whenever he had the opportunity to do so. A little personal power can pump an over-sized ego just a little too tight. Even the strongest balloons will pop with the sharp prick of a pin. And so it was with the great country of Egypt. God compares Pharaoh as a lion among nations, and yet, a net will be cast by a great multitude of God’s people and that net will haul him away.

Have you ever stirred up a little dirt in the mud puddles of your life? Yesterday while I was out whacking weeds, I spent a little time watering the flowers by the mini-pond at my back window. Some of the largest worms I have ever seen surfaced from underneath the dirt, just to delight themselves in the wet, slithery mud puddles. They would have made great fish bait. That’s the thing about stirring up the mud; it looks like fun at first. When we have to wear the nasty stains it leaves behind, somehow we realize it wasn’t nearly as much fun to play in as we first imagined.

Ezekiel held nothing back from the great Pharaoh. If we defy God, we will face judgment. Those stains cannot be washed away on our own. There is nothing that can remove the muck from our life except for the blood of Christ. He poured it out for you and me. He continues to offer His life to all who will receive Him. Jesus has the power to cover the stains we’ve created in the muddy puddles we’ve played in. He can make the deepest stain disappear by one touch of His healing hand.

Are you ready to come clean? Give Jesus Christ your heart today, and watch how those stains simply disappear.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: faith! Jesus sees you; He knows you; He wants to remove the stains left over from the muddy waters you’ve been playing in. Come out into the light of His love and let Him wash you clean today. When we defy God, we face judgment. Jesus Christ will cover your sin and give you a fresh new start. Believe and receive!


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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