I must confess to doing something foolish. One day I drove my car off the hot pavement and out into a grassy area because I knew where I could find a persimmon tree. Now, I love persimmons and thought to myself, “Well, this is about the time those persimmons would be ripe.” And so I drove out in that grassy area to that tree. There wasn’t a single persimmon on the tree!
So when I realized there weren’t any persimmons, I started to drive away. But instead, my tires went zzzzzz. Then I became aware of how wet the ground was. I thought, “I’ll have to be very careful.”
So I started to go very slowly, and again my tires went zzzzz. Then I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll back up and get a running start. I backed up, and…zzzzz. Talking to myself again I said, “Okay, I’ll rock the car a little bit.” You know...Zzzzz — zzzzz — zzzzz, and I’m sinking the whole time!
At that point, I got out of the car and scrounged around for a board and tried to dig myself out. I got in the car…zzzzzzz. Next, I found a piece of carpet out in the woods and put that underneath…zzzzz. By this time, I’m going down, down, down. I’m stuck in the mud!
At that point, there were two things I knew I wanted. Number one, I didn’t want anybody to see me. And number two, I wanted somebody to see me!
I prayed, “Lord, I’m in the mud.” I really did pray this way. I said, “Lord, I’m in the mud. I need your help. Lord, I’m helpless here. Lord, get me out.”
At the same time, a man came in view. He saw me before I saw him and came without my even asking. He said, “Are you stuck?” I replied, “Obviously.” He said, “Well, I have a cable and hook.” We hooked up my car to his truck and he pulled me slowly out of the mud. And he advised me, “Now, you be careful,” then he was on his way.
I got back on solid ground. I was so grateful he had come along! I do believe he was God’s angel, sent as an answer to prayer. I really do. Because I prayed, God sent me someone in a four-wheel truck with a cable. I just praise the Lord for that!
But isn’t that like salvation? We are looking for the things of this world and are sinking deeper and deeper in the mud. We say, “Well, I can get myself out of this. I can handle this situation.” And the more we try to handle it, the deeper and deeper we sink.
We need somebody who will see us, care for us, come to us, and get us out. Jesus is a Savior who comes to us. He has what it takes to extricate us from the mud we’ve gotten into. He pulled me out. I got on solid ground, and I praise the Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you.
When I got home, my car was absolutely covered with mud. I got the hose out and began to wash the mud off. And I began thinking…. You know, that man got me out of the mud, but it was up to me to deal with the mud that was still on the car. When I got saved, I was also covered with mud. And ever since, I’ve been letting Jesus, the Water of Life, clean me up.
What I’m trying to say is, you can struggle all you want, but all you’re going to do is sink deeper. You’re just going to sink deeper. You are helpless to save yourself. Your good works won’t save you. My rocking back and forth and “zzzzz-ing” only got me in further. Your nice behavior and exterior demeanor won’t save you. No amount of primping, polishing and performing delivers our soul from the muck. You do not have what it takes, friend (and neither did I) to get yourself out unless Someone takes you out. And that Someone is Jesus.He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. I’m so glad, friend, He took me out of the mud when I was a teenage boy and kept me. And He wants to save you out of the muck and mire. Just as surely, the Water of Life will clean you up and put you on solid ground.
How do we answer the tough questions? Why do bad things happen to good people and vice versa? Why was Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross necessary for redemption? And why were there three crosses on Calvary that day? Pastor Adrian Rogers tackles these topics in his simple and profound style in the “Why” booklet collection, which includes four booklets. It will become a staple in your own faith-building library and a valuable tool as you share the true Love worth finding, Jesus Christ. Ready to get your questions answered? Start here.