“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.” – Isaiah 35:5
Many, many perspectives change as we “mature.” Chief among them concerns weather.
Oh, sure – as adults, we enjoy walking, or biking, or golfing, or doing any number of things outdoors. At the first sign of rain, though, most of us run for cover. Heaven forbid we get wet!
Contrast this to when you were a child. Rain? Yeah! Find a puddle to splash in!
Even better if there was wet, muddy ground nearby. Mud is magnetic to kids. They love to jump in it, stomp in it, and do everything imaginable to get as dirty as possible. Bring it on!
Conversely, adults abhor mud. It dirties our shoes. Stains our pants cuffs. If it splashes onto a skirt or dress – look out. Someone is going to be really unhappy.
What happens when mud accumulates on shoes? They get heavy. Our feet stick. Pretty soon, we feel tired. Our progress slows. Again, no good.
Modern adults have no use for mud. Why, even its connotations in everyday speech are negative: A person’s reputation can be “dragged through the mud.” A fallen hero’s “name is mud.” Politicians attacking each other are “mud-slinging.”
Mud as a cure, not a curse
Jesus, by contrast, didn’t mind mud. In fact, he used it to cure a man blind from birth. Consider this passage from John 9: “’While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”
The notion of using mud – mixed with saliva, no less – as a medical salve would terrify any practitioner of modern medicine. Yet, Jesus made it work. He used some really unpleasant ingredients to give a man his first-ever gift of sight.
Why did Jesus choose mud as his “medicine?” Is there a metaphor for how we live our lives, often oblivious to God’s will for us?
Cleansing our muddied existences
All of us fall short of God’s expectations. We do things we shouldn’t. Miss opportunities to do things pleasing to God. Unlike Jesus’s use of mud to grant sight, are we laden with “mud” that leads to these spiritual blind spots?
Mud is unclean. Isn’t this how we feel when we engage in activities we know are wrong? Is God reminding us of this, by making us feel “muddy?”
Similarly, when we go down these wrongful paths, do we not start feeling sluggish? Like there’s “mud” caked on our souls … similar to our shoes?
Do we have stains on our relationships with others, that we know should be cleansed … yet somehow aren’t? Is “mud” marking these as a reminder?
Maybe, just maybe, this “mud” opens our eyes to God’s will. What’s weighing you down, or slowing you, or making you feel less than clean? Can you identify the mud, and ask God to cleanse you?
Don’t curse the “mud.” God often uses unpleasant sensations or experiences to teach us. Sometimes, to humble us, as in Job 30:19: “He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.”
The mud is for your benefit. It’s there, ironically, for you to live a cleaner life. The man whose eyes saw for the first time would undoubtedly proclaim its wonderment.
Appreciate the mud. Learn from it. Even be like a kid again, and don’t be afraid to get dirty … knowing that God’s forgiveness will ultimately cleanse you.
(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Participate in a virtual prayer session to ask God to be with those who have submitted requests. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected].)