28 2022
The God of Muck and Mire

Last Friday, my wife and I drove to the country wedding of a relative in Osteen, Florida. Like a lot of people, we have come to rely on our GPS to get us places, so when the technology guided us off a secondary road to a tertiary road, we were not concerned, at least initially. But eventually we found ourselves on a dirt road. Despite this unexpected circumstance, we pushed on for a mile or two.( As a man, admitting wrong turns in life does not come easily). Unfortunately, we then found the road becoming increasingly unpassable. After a brief discussion with my wife on what to do, I accelerated down through a bog and up onto a rise filled with deep, sandy, soil. In a few moments we were stuck.

We couldn’t move forward or backward. I looked around and found some flat automotive debris lying nearby and placed it under the tires to attempt to get traction. No luck. As I thought about calling AAA and how long they might take to get to us, my wife informed me that we had no cell service. A faint dread filled the air. By this time, we realized we were going to miss the wedding ceremony. We waited, looked at each other and prayed, asking God for help. We waited again and prayed again. Not a person or a building in sight in either direction.

For some reason, weddings had been a big topic for me in the days before this event and would be after. More later. Our church’s men’s Bible study had focused on the Wedding at Cana in John 2 the day before. My wife reminded me that “God wants to get us to the wedding feast. ” She meant the big one, the last one, the best one. But at this point, we would be happy with the next one.

After a few more anxious moments a Mack truck came into view. Two burly Volusia County employees jumped out of their truck and knew exactly what to do. They changed the traction setting in our SUV. pushed it out onto a flat place, turned us around and pushed us back into the direction we came in the first place. My wife was so grateful, she grabbed a wad of money from her wallet and walked toward them. “No. Ma’am. We are just out here doing our jobs.” We thanked them profusely and with gratitude made our way several miles back onto the main road. I thought of another wedding feast and Jesus words, “Go out into the highways and the byways and compel them to come in.” He is the God of great lengths. We didn’t make the ceremony. But we did make the feast.

The following day my devotional the reading leapt off the page..” Angels used to live in New Hampshire. In the White Mountains, there was once an organization called the Blue Angels. Its members had blue flashing lights on top. The Blue Angels carried first aid supplies, food, hot coffee, chains, tow ropes, gasoline and other emergency supplies. These volunteers patrolled the winding, snow-drifted roads looking for stranded motorists. Anyone in distress was saved and aided with no questions asked or lectures given. The help was given unconditionally and without charge.” (Letting God by A. Philip Parham. Devotional for January 22nd) Wow. Even the hairs of our heads are numbered.

Sometimes when we get ourselves into tight spots, we spend time “learning our lessons” and ruminating on “doing it differently or better next time.” But in focusing solely on improvement we may miss the larger message. God is “looking for stranded motorists” and for people who have lost their way. He has his people and He will send them into the wilderness looking for us. Are we surprised that God is willing to get into the muck and mire with us, push us out and get us to our destination? We shouldn’t be. This is the core message of the gospel.

Living Without Lust exists to join Him in this mission, to leave no one stranded in the wilderness, stuck in circumstances we and they often believe place us beyond hope. Having driven back home Friday evening, I got up early to attend a recovery meeting the next day. I turned on a Saturday morning fishing show I often listen to while driving to this particular meeting. What were they discussing? Weddings, of course. (yeah right) I laughed and shook my head at the perfect and precise plan of God for each of us. And I quietly asked Jesus to open my eyes to see what he wants me to see. No wonder the Bible so often uses the word. “Behold.”.

In the Lust-Bearer,

Jay Haug, Executive Director
Living Without Lust Inc.