Let’s face it. Some days I am a muddy mess. Some days you are a muddy mess. Yep. Sometimes life just gets messy and muddy all at the same time. And we slip-slop away, wobbling and waiting to right ourselves and stand on solid ground.  

You need not look far to see the muddy mess in our world. Just catch the news and you see and hear the sobering images: bloody, bespattered children in Gaza, bombed-out Ukrainian cities, bodies missing under Baltimore’s collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. Wildfires out of control.  

Some days it feels as if we live in Muddy Mess, USA, where I am the mayor. Some days you are the mayor. Right? You know what I’m talking about. You may be sitting behind that mayoral desk right now wondering how the heck you got there. And how the heck you are going to resign and go back to a simpler life. I. am. with. you.

Part of Our Humanness

I say let’s stop this gloomy, gunky world from spinning so fast because I want to get off and sit on the amusement park bench and eat my ice cream cone. Are you with me? You can eat the cotton candy.

But you know, muddy messes are nothing new to our planet. The first very muddy mess started back in the Garden of Eden with that eating of forbidden fruit fiasco. Oh, Eve, Eve, Eve. Couldn’t you have snacked on an orange from a different tree? Alas. So the propensity to go our own way and disregard God’s best is inherently in our genes.

Getting ourselves into muddy messes is part of our heredity, part of our humanness. It’s also true that some mud pits we are pushed into when we did nothing wrong.

We see that way back in history with the upright, affluent businessman Job. He lost his 10 children, countless servants and livestock, and was afflicted with painful boils — all in one day. Yet Job was an innocent bystander who was slammed into more than a muddy mess.

Muddy Mess, Inside and Out

We catch up with his story in Job 30:16-19. I appreciate The Message’s rendering of these verses: “And now my life drains out, as suffering seizes and grips me hard. Night gnaws at my bones; the pain never lets up. I am tied hand and foot, my neck in a noose. I twist and turn. Thrown face down in the muck, I’m a muddy mess, inside and out.”

“I’m a muddy mess, inside and out.” That’s me! That’s you! Yes, let’s be totally honest. We all are a  muddy mess when it comes to our messing up in life. We think wrong thoughts. We say wrong words. We do wrong things. And yet . . . here’s the best news ever. We are not left forever to wallow in our muddy mess.

Running Right Behind

The photo in this blog post illustrates the cure to our muddy mess. I love, love this image of the mud-caked lamb, all bewildered and alone in the woods. I can relate to this languished lambie on many a day. But wait . . . is this sweet sheepie really alone?

The cure to our muddy mess is found in someone who gets our wayward wandering, our slip-slopping setbacks. Can you spot Him in this photo?

That’s Jesus running right behind the forlorn lamb. The Lamb of the World is hoofing it to scoop up that troubled lamb and bring her to safety. That secure embrace and wrap-your-arms-around-me-and-never-let-go hug is unforgettable because Jesus never forgets us. Even if it may feel like it on our muddy mess.

Never, Ever Too Far

So this Easter weekend, have fun decorating eggs and savoring delectable chocolates, but also take some time to reflect on your muddy mess, inside and out. Then take another look at this photo and thank God literally that He keeps a watchful eye on us. He is willing to run after us no matter how far we drift.

No matter how muddy we get and how alone we may feel, we are never, ever too far from His loving arms. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the cure to our muddy mess.

It’s been said the only time God runs is when He runs to us. Can you hear Him running close right now?

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