Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Love Lifted Me"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 40:2 – He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. (NLT)
The hymn writer, James Rowe, penned the hymn, Love lifted me. When I sing the first few words, "I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore," I am brought back to my childhood.
I was going home from my friend's house, which was a "country mile" from my home. In the summer, it was a short walk across the hay field. In winter and spring, I was forbidden to take the shortcut. One day, I decided to hop across the wet spring field really quickly! I would be home in a jiffy! Each step sucked at my boots, ugly mud grabbing me. One boot and sock disappeared into the frothy, brown earth. Another step landed me on my "kiester", bootless, completely defeated, and alone. I started to yell for my mom, but I was too far from home. I must have yelled wildly and loudly because my friend's two big brothers heard me. They came to my rescue and pulled me out of the mud and helped me to get home safely. I must have been a sight! My momma, who loved me, put me in a tub of warm water out in the backyard and cleaned all the mud away.
There are many kinds of muddy fields in life: times when we feel hopeless, dejected, sad, discouraged, miserable, disheartened, despairing, despondent, defeated, and feeling like giving up because there is no solution, no way out of our dilemma. In such situations that are out of our control, we can't do it ourselves, but God can. We must never give up, for "everything is possible with God" (Mark 10:27b NLT). Paul advises us to "be thankful in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18a NLT), because giving thanks to God demonstrates our trust in Him, and our faith actually releases His power to help us.
I cannot sing the hymn Love lifted me without remembering that boot-sucking dilemma. But every time I see a muddy spring field, I am reminded how I still desperately need to be rescued and how, when I call on my Saviour, He hears and sets me free!
Prayer: Lord, as we look at the many pits of despair, the muddy fields, the areas of discouragement, we thank You that You are there to set our feet on solid ground. We thank You that not only do You set our feet on solid ground, but Your care is ongoing. You steady us as we walk along. May each one of us experience that all-encompassing lifting, love, and care of a gentle, compassionate God. Amen.