Archive for March 22nd, 2014

“Well, I found him.” My husband left the house an hour before swallowed in aggravation. Now his eyes sparked a twinkle and a slight smile tickled the corners of his lips.

I look behind him. “Where?”

A grin captured his face. “Oh no. First you’ve got to promise you won’t be upset.”

Too late. With that statement I’m upset. “Why didn’t you bring him home? Is he all right??”

“Come on, I’ll show you—after you promise.” He gave my hand a squeeze. “Promise?”

“Yes. I promise. But hurry up. We’re late.”

I followed my husband out the door, down the drive, up the street, and over to the edge of the woods.DSCF4560

“Where are we going? And where is Michael?” Every step ratcheted my angst.

“Shhhh.” Husband stepped carefully and put finger to his lips. “Be quiet. We’re almost there.”

We followed the dirt trail another few minutes before I heard DSCF4561shouts, giggles, and the KERSPLAT of filthy bayou water, punctuated by objects larger than a small rock dancing across this muddy excuse for a river.

Stifling a chuckle, this man I married pointed proud toward the boys.

Eyes blazing and hands on hips, I became Sergeant Mom. “What are you—”

“Honey, they’re just being boys. Let ‘em be. So what if we’re late?”

Stepping closer, I saw my son grab hold of a gnarled old rope and swing from an overhanging tree branch. He turned lose and dropped into this yucky swimming hole, wiggling and shouting ‘til he plunged into the brown sludge.

My first impulse was to drag him kicking and screaming home. But DSCF4565bless his heart, husband grabbed my hand and pulled me away.
Two days later son woke up with a dreadful earache. A trip to the doctor confirmed an ear infection. Hmmm. Wonder how he contracted that?

Dinner that evening was not a pleasant family gathering. And future swims in the bayou were outlawed by Sergeant Mom. Father sat quiet, but I didn’t miss the wink and smile exchange between those two culprits.

From this side of problem, I wondered if those brief moments of fun were worth the pain suffered.

Life can be like that. Surrounded by dirty swimming holes. Puddles of mud luring us to jump in, stomp around, and have a good time.

Murky pools of gossip disguised as prayer requests. Roasting DSCF4567God’s anointed ones over Sunday lunch. Binges of toxic foods and alcohol consumption that leave harmful effects long after they are consumed. Secret addictions we’d die if anyone knew. Pornography. Adultery. Anger. Unforgiveness. Covetousness. The list is endless. And all are prevalent within the church. There’s sin in the camp, folks.

Yep, we all surrender to quick dips in puddles of sin. Then we hop out, soap up, and rinse off. Thinking we’re squeaky clean—no one will ever know. But sin’s nasty germs tuck themselves in dark corners of our hearts and minds. Places no one but me, you, and God can see. Left to thrive, they multiply and manifest themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.

God calls us to holiness.

I know I struggle with a critical spirit and with exchanging the important for the urgent. Before my eyelids open in the morning my brain is already racing through the days schedule. My feet hit the floor, and if I don’t stop and take “…every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5 NAS), I end up leaving my Lord Jesus in the dust of my self-created turmoil. Pride in my ways, my thoughts, my plans.

And BTW, the sin of pride is on God’s top seven hate list. (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJ) Have I overcome all my dirty ponds? Oh my, no. I’m better than I used to be, but not as good as God’s going to make me when all my mud puddles have been conquered.

Yes, we are saved eternally from the penalty of sin, but we must DSCF3337daily wash with the soap and water of the Word. We must take time, every day, to sit before the Lord and listen. We must praise and worship Him for who He is and for what He’s done. Only then can The Holy Spirit produce eternal fruit in our lives.

What puddle of mud whispers your name? Please share with us your struggles and successes as confirmation and encouragement to other readers that Jesus never leaves or forsakes us—even when we choose to dive into bayous of sin. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and toDSCF3351 cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 NAS).

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136 NKJ).

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