Psalm 40:2 & 5 "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings....Many, 0 Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward; they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered."
Sammy was a salamander that we rescued from certain death. He scrambled out from a dark corner in our cellar while we were doing some house renovation. Since it was winter we couldn't let him loose, so we found an old fish aquarium and fixed it up comfortably for him. With dirt in the bottom for him to dig in, a small dish of water on the side for him to bathe in, a rock for him to crawl onto, he had all the comforts of home. For several years we pampered Sammy, buying crickets for him to feast on, giving him special treats, letting him out for exercise to wander the kitchen floor with the cats and dog (under supervision). But do you think he appreciated what we did for him? No way! He was forever ungrateful, climbing the glass trying to get out, digging in the dirt to find a way of escape. We loved him, but he did not reciprocate our love. He was cold and indifferent to all the things we tried to do for him.
In thinking about Sammy, I am reminded of myself. I was dead in my sins, but God came along and rescued me. He lifted me from the miry clay and set my feet on solid ground. He has promised to me every provision, but sometimes I don't appreciate it. I want to go my own way, do my own thing. I look out from my comfortable protection, which God has provided for me, and I see the world around me. It looks so attractive out there that I try to escape. I don't see the "crickets" God has given me: the love and protection, all the many things He has done for me.
I forget that if it weren't for His mercy I would perish. Out of love, sometimes God protects me, in spite of myself.
"And (some) He saves with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 23
Look at Lot and his family. When Abraham (then Abram) left Egypt, he took his family with him. Lot, his nephew, was a selfish man. When it came to the parting of the ways, Abram gave Lot the choice of which land he would take. Lot chose the best of the land. (See Genesis chapters 13-19 for the full story). Lot went to live in Sodom. Well, we all know the story of how God came to destroy Sodom because of its wickedness. Even though Abraham had pleaded that it be spared, God was going to destroy it. He sent angels, however, to escort Lot and his family from the city before the fire fell. But Lot was reticent to leave. The angels had to practically drag him from the place to make him leave. He was rescued "so as by fire."
That is the way God is. He is long suffering. "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." II Peter 3:9
A hymn we often sing in church, "He Lifted Me," written by Charlotte G. Homer and Charles H. Gabriel, brings out the message I am trying to give. It goes like this:
In loving kindness Jesus came From sinking sand He lifted me,
From sinking sand He lifted me,
"There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 16:25.
I am so glad that Jesus lifted me out of the miry clay, in spite of my stubborn nature. He can lift you, too, if you will let Him.
© Helen Dowd.