The struggle to become half the man i used to be . . .  

DAY#18 - Amish Quicksand
A few years ago I had the opportunity to share about my relationship/view of Christ and what He had done for me. Today, on Good Friday I felt it appropriate to share this with you. . .

It was 20 degrees outside when I stepped out of the barn and onto the snow covered pasture. It was still before dawn and I was in a hurry to get my chores done so I could walk home, take a shower and get ready for school. I was running late and my dad had given me a new job. I had to round up the heifers in the side pasture before I could leave. It sounded easy enough but the side pasture was shaped like the letter U, there was solid ground on the outside of the U and in the middle there was a manure pit. What's a manure pit? Well a manure pit was a hole that had been dug about 12 feet wide and about 5-6 feet deep into the ground where my grandfather stored all the animal waste until it was time to spread it on the field. It was located in the center of the pasture and as luck would have it all the cows were on the opposite side of the pasture from the gate which meant I would have to chase/guide them up the one side of the U, around the pit and down the other side of the U, through the gate and into the feeding area.

As I walked around the U to get to where the cows were I cursed the day my grandfather ended up in the hospital. You see, that past fall my grandfather had a massive heart attack and a quadruple by-pass surgery, which had left him out of the picture. That is when my whole life changed. Suddenly I was getting up at 4am every morning to bring the cows in from the far pasture for milking, feeding the calves, mixing food for the heifers, scraping the barn and that day it left me out in the freezing cold chasing some stubborn cows through the side pasture.

As I got to the other side of the U and started to clap my hands and chant for the cows to get moving something inspiring occurred. Two of the cows ran across the frozen ice crust on top of the slurry pit. They made it across leaving just a few cracks in the ice. Well, who was I to let a gift like this get away from me? If a bunch of half-ton heifers can cross the ice, I certainly could. So I hollered at the cattle until they made it past the corner of the U and decided to take the short cut to the other side by skating across the ice.

Well everything seemed to be going fine for the first three steps when all of a sudden some of the cracks that the cows had left in the ice started giving way and within a matter of seconds I had plunged shoulder deep into the manure pit. Needless to say I was scared, totally freaked out, I was stuck in the middle of this awful smelling sludge that I later coined the term "Amish Quicksand." I couldn't move, I couldn't pull myself out; I couldn't do anything, I was HELPLESS. The only thing I could do was cry out for: HELP! DAD, DAD PLEASE HELP ME! DAD. It was useless. He was at the opposite end of the barn milking cows with the hum and whir of the milkers and the best mix of oldies music pouring out of the barn radio. The muck pressed in against my chest as I yelled, HELP! DAD, DAD PLEASE HELP ME! DAD. My cries went on for almost an hour. My dad had assumed that I had run home to get ready for school so he wasn't thinking about me.

HELP! DAD, DAD PLEASE HELP ME! DAD. Finally he opened the back to of the barn and called my name, BRIAN? WHERE ARE YOU? OVER HERE DAD I FELL IN THE MANURE PIT, I NEED YOU HELP TO GET ME OUT! He came quickly, I can't even tell you how happy I was he had found me. He kept a sure footing on the solid ground around the pit, knelt down reached over and with his strong grip pulled me up. He rescued me. And after a big hug he led me to the milk house where he hosed me off and cleaned me up.

A funny, sad and sweet story. But one up to just recently I couldn't imagine sharing.

You see you might laugh at my physical misfortune of my body being stuck in a big mass of muck. But I ask you to look around and survey yourself from a similar spiritual perspective. Are you stuck in the muck? I am sure there are some people readng this who are in worse shape than I was. The spiritual muck and sin in your life is swallowing you up. Sin like Lust, Greed, Pride, Lying, Stealing, Bitterness, Gluttony, even Cheating on tests is the sin that is weighing your life down, keeping you from being free. Eventually if not taken care of the bible says in Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death" Sin in your life can get to a point where you are drowning in it & it can look as if there is no escape. I know there are people here that are struggling with sin and feel the burden of it all around them just like me when I was in the pit. I am still fighting my way out of my weight issues. However the Bible also says in Romans 6:23 "but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Christ died on the cross for us and our muck if we are willing to call out to our heavenly father for help. 1 John 1:19 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and clean us from all unrighteousness."

There also is spiritual muck/junk filling the pit, things like bad relationships with parents, family, friends, unforgiveness, physical and sexual abuse, deep hurts and issues we don't even believe we could ever speak of. God also says in 1 Peter 5:7 that we can "Cast all our problems on him because he cares for you." God will take your muck/junk from you, He will take us all screwed up. He doesn't care that you stink and that you are up to your eyeballs in manure. He wants to take care of you just the way you are.

Just like I cried out for my earthly father for help we can also call on our heavenly father. Psalms(34:17) says "Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, He is ready to rescue you" God will hear you the first time you call, and he will come and with his strong arms will lift you out of the muck and plant you on solid ground, he will hose you off and make you clean again.

I pray that this story finds you in good standing, but if it doesn't and the story makes sense and there is something inside of you right now that is prodding you to take action that is the Holy Spirit. Let him guide you take a look at what he is showing you and act upon it.

Nothing felt better then when my father heard my cries, reached down into the muck and pulled me out, set my feet on solid ground and gave me a hug. Consider letting God do that for you today. God's word says "God does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. He will not ignore you."

I am far from perfect, I continue my journey to remove gluttony and a lack of self-control from my manure pit. I have been trying my best to trust in Jesus and allow him to help me out of my muck, it is not an easy process no matter what you struggle with. If you want to chat, feel free to send me a message.

Looking forward to my weigh in tomorrow!

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Saturday July 4, 2020 - Day #3764