When you are in the muck and the mire, all you can think about is yourself in the muck and mire.
Have you ever experienced a panic attack? Like you are about to suffocate or drown or sink? That’s what is feels like to be in the muck and mire, like being stuck in sinking sand.
In fact while you are in the muck and mire, people will ignore you there. I don’t know that they mean to, per say, but often times they don’t seem to notice your desperate cries while you are there. Maybe they don’t want to accidentally be pulled down with you. Maybe they just don’t have time to help. But they see the hole you are in, avoid it, or walk around it, but don’t usually stop to help you out. You are screaming, begging for them to notice you, to help you, to get you out of the pit, but they keep on walking by. Maybe they hurry past because the cries simply are not pleasant to the ears. Over time your voice loses it strength and the cries grow weak.
May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. Psalm 40:14-15
The devil probably does his greatest work while you are stuck in the muck. He likes to see you there, keep you there, trapped and dismayed.
So what should you do if you find yourself there?
Should you stop fighting and sink? or stay stuck? or stop yelling?
According to the Bible, there are several things you can do.
First, keep calling out, not to the passersby, but to God, and maybe, He will use one of His children walking by to help you out. Wait on Him, like you’ve never waited before.
I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me. Psalm 40:12-13
The Bible calls us to stand like we’ve never stood before when we are in battles. How do we stand when our footing is on stinking sand instead of solid ground? If you are a child of God, it does not matter how you’ve fallen into an unsure place, you always have Christ as your foundation.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
What do you do while you wait? Trust in Him, and keep your heart set on Him. You will be tempted to turn to false hopes to save you – dreams, people, a drink, a drug, anything that numbs – TV, internet, video games, but none of these things have power, and none hold the future.
Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:4-5
Recite the word of the Lord to fight against the raging thoughts of the enemy. You gotta either know His word before you get trapped or you gotta hope it fell into the pit with you. Most of us can find it there if we look around for it instead of panicking. Jesus Himself used the word of God when He was tempted for 40 days. Turn your thoughts away from yourself and onto Him.
Take….the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
There is no man insusceptible to falling into the muck and mire, difficult circumstances or none. Anyone can fall in. You just have to be human. It doesn’t matter if you know the word of God a lot or a little. Have suffered much or suffered none. Have difficult circumstances or a life of daisies. Anyone can fall in.
But He, He can lift anyone out.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2
He gives us a new place to stand. A new song to sing (new thoughts to think).
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a
What will they think if they know I’ve fallen in a pit? Can I still be led by Him? Can I still be used? Or am I null and void?
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3b
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me. Psalm 40:9-11
What does the Lord require of me to get me out of the pit? Just my earnest plea of myself offered to Him.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:6-8
What do I say when He sets my feet on solid ground?
Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay. Psalm 40:17
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “The LORD be exalted!”Psalm 40:16