A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' (or whatever mules do when they fall into wells.) After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back: he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow.
"Shake it off and step up... shake it off and step up... shake it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!
You're right! It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him. All because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
Beautiful One, how well do you handle the issues of life?
It is said that these are troubled times. It is said that it is going to get worse before it gets better, it is said that it is going to take a long time for things to start to turn around.
Everywhere you go, you hear the voices of fear, worry, and anxiety. People are losing their homes and their jobs. Families are being torn apart because of all the stress and pressure. If you read the newspaper, watch the news, or even listen to the radio, you are inundated with all the reports of how bad things are.
I suppose that these are the facts. I can look around in my own backyard and see several homes in foreclosure and people I know at my workplace are being laid off. Yes, we are in troubled times.
These may be the facts, but we don't live by facts, we live by the truth!......and the truth is, we are children of the most high God. The world has no other option but to listen and heed to the voices that scream at them daily. However, we serve the CEO of heaven and we don't have to live oppressed, depressed, and crushed beneath the weight of what the world says.
Beautiful One, the truth remains that trouble happens all the time. Sometimes we encounter more trouble than at other times but we have always been in a fight. Our faith has been on trial many times. Sometimes it was easier to fight through the trouble and adversity, and sometimes it's really just plain hard and exhausting. But, we must never lose sight of the fact that Gods ways are higher than ours. Night always comes before day, and it is the darkest before light dawns. Jesus had to be put to death, before he was resurrected. To truly be triumphant, one must have something to triumph over and it usually requires that we walk through trouble first.
It would be so easy for us to lose heart these days. Marriages are strained, finances are being squeezed, jobs are uncertain, but we must remember who we are and who we serve.
Our God is still the same. His promises are still for you and I right now, in troubled times. Heaven and earth will pass away but His word will endure forever. It is vital for us to keep our focus on the Lord and what he says, not CNN, the stock market, or even you're boss.
God is your source from whom all blessings flow into your life. God will use your job but don't be fooled into thinking that He needs it to take care of you. God has a thousand different ways He can provide for you. Sometimes when the facts are not our friends, we need to raise our eyes to the Truth that always is.
The truth is God always has a way of escape for his children. The truth is, adversity and the enduring of it always produces in us a character and a faith that we had not known before. The truth is, we need not worry about tomorrow, we need to just trust in what God is doing today, even when your house note is past due, or when your marriage is being shaken, your children are acting funny, and your boss treats you differently.
It is not the adversity that we face that is the issue, it is how we handle it; that is what God is concerned about. We may lose stuff, houses, cars, jobs, clothes, etc., but these are just things and chances are, if you lose things, God always in the end gives you better things than you had before.
If we glean from the lives of the brothers and sisters that went before us, like Jacob who lived in a land of severe famine and how God prospered him, or how God used ravens and a widow who had only one meal left to feed Elijah. What about the boy who had two fish and there were five thousand guests for lunch? And lets not forget Jesus sending Peter to the mouth of a fish to get his money to pay his taxes. God always finds a way for his kids.
Beautiful One, it is in times like these that we need to brace ourselves and look with great expectation at our Mighty God, because we are in miracle territory. When things are down, be sure that God is up to something. We need to be like the donkey and when life throws a bunch of dirt on us, we need to shake it off and step it up.
Shake off all the discouragement and fear because you are a child of the King. Shake off the worry and unbelief, this is the hour for God to get some glory! Shake off the questions and doubts, God will never take anything from you that He wont give back to you in an abundant measure.
Beautiful One, the world is weighed down, worried and scared, this is our opportunity to let them see that they don't have to be. This is the hour for us to step up and show off what our God can do, and it most certainly is going to have to start with me and you.
Whatever you are facing, no matter what it looks like, remember the Lord your God. This is the time to put our faith into action; we cannot just talk about it, we have to live it. Shake off everything that is being thrown at you, put it under your feet.
Don't ever forget that what the enemy uses as a stumbling block, God turns into a stepping stone that will raise you higher than you were before.
No one expected that donkey to rise up and step out of that well. Likewise no one may expect you to rise up either. But oh, won't they be surprised when they see your head pop up and that pit you were in is now your platform....
Beautiful One, just believe because there's a whole lotta shaking going on!