A Roll In The Dirt

Saturday, April 22, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Great Physician Now Is Near"1 (Lyrics)

One hot summer day, I watched our Blue Healer, Rocky, saunter across the field and walk into the neighbour's pond. With the sun behind him, he looked rather handsome as he emerged from the refreshing water and walked through the tall grass. As is typical of wet dogs, he shook himself, starting at his nose and ending at the very tip of his tail. Water danced in all directions, with the sunlight reflecting on each drop. Then, Rocky did something that ruined the serene scene. He trotted his wet self to the nearest dirt hole, lowered his shoulder, then his entire body, into the dirt, and proceeded to roll from side to side, not missing a square inch.

As I watched in amazement, I was reminded of myself. No, I don't roll in the dirt after a dip in the pool, but there have been times when I did something similar. Some of the most wonderful, refreshing times that I have ever had with the Lord, to my dismay, have been followed with a good roll in the dirt.

I remember wonderful times when I have praised God, enjoyed His presence, and fallen in love with Him all over again, only to come home and find myself losing my temper, gossiping, grumbling, or totally blowing it in some way or another. Unlike my furry friend, I didn't mean to roll in the dirt, but I did. I could not understand how this could happen. But I know that I am not the only one who has experienced this disappointment. Read what the apostle Paul says:

Romans 7:15 – I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (NIV)

I am not a theologian, but I think that the enemy, the devil, hates for us to enjoy the Lord's presence. He cringes as we praise Him, and he loves to see us innocently waltz out of the refreshing living water, only to find ourselves rolling in the dirt.

I prayed with a young woman who cried as she told me how she had been so close to God, but then, she found herself doing what she did not want to do. My heart broke for her as well as for myself, because I have been there many times in my life.

How do we avoid the dreaded dirt hole? We need to be ready for the attack and then remember the truths that we have stored in our hearts. Put on the whole armour of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)

Jesus is ever willing to forgive us, and He sends His Holy Spirit when we are tempted to lower our shoulders into a pit of sin and doubt. Each morning, may we be reminded of His unfailing love for us, even when we bathe in His glory but head for the nearest mud hole!

Prayer: Lord, we praise You for those times when we are moved by Your Spirit and are touched by the beauty of Your creation. Our Father, deliver us from evil, since Your enemy does not want us to be blessed by Your grace and goodness and tries everything he can to get us off track. Save us from those dirt holes of negativity and discontentment. We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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About the author:

Jeanie Nihiser <jnihiserj@gmail.com>
Cerro Gordo, Illinois, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Wow. Amazing! I really loved this, thank you.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. God be the glory! Blessings.

    Many thanks for your words of encouragement and truth. God bless. Have a great day.

    Bless you for sharing your gift of writing to encourage us to hold onto God’s promises.

    Thanks, Jeannie,
    That is a wonderful devotional. We can certainly identify with it, if we are honest.

    So true! So well written! Thank you for this devotional. With God’s help I will try to stay “clean” more of today, by staying more in tune with Him.

    Good Morning Jeanie,
    You have a wonderful gift of expressing yourselves with words. Thank you for this morning’s devotional.

    Jeanie – how vividly you bring to my understanding the scripture quoted in your devotional. Yes, that dirt is ever-present, just waiting to lure me in. Praise God, that Jesus calls me back.

    Great message Jeanie. I believe we all fall into this deep dirty hole at times. Great reminder.
    (QC, CANADA)

    Jeanie, your Roll In The Dirt devotional is an accurate word portrait of the human condition, a variation of from the Divine to the sublime. We benefit when wearing Biblical Armour– 24/7.
    Kipling’s lines come to mind, “… We only of creation, O luckier bridge and rail, abide the twin domination, to fail and know we fail …”

    Jeanie, your skillfully chosen words clearly spoke to me today. The “dreaded dirt hole” describes so well the potholes that cause us discomfort and damage. My pastor encouraged me to begin each day praying the Lord’s prayer, and the part about asking God to deliver me from evil is so powerful. Our loving and powerful Father in heaven is pleased to answer that request.

    Greetings Jeanie and many thanks for this devotional today. You have written a great analogy of the performance of your blue healer and how we too can go astray into a “dirt pile”. Our Lord sure deserves our gratitude as He is so willing to forgive us when we go off the path and He takes us back in His loving arms. I like that you included Phil.4:13 in your writing as that is a verse I repeat often. Blessings for this very special writing.

    Good morning, Jeanie,
    Thank you for your good words this morning. Why do they do it — roll in the dirt — and why do we do it? The text you cited is such a good one:
    Romans 7:15 – I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (NIV)
    I can certainly relate to that.
    All the best Jeanie and I wish you a good Sunday.

    Dear Jeanie,
    The truth be told. I have been there also. I would never have thought it to be like when a dog rolls in the dirt, however, you explained it so well when we go off track. You are a very powerful writer of devotionals which help us to see the LIGHT.
    Today is Earth Day and the title “a roll in the dirt” fits the day to me. As we clean up the Earth around us, hopefully God will help us to clean up ourselves. Thanks for sharing and may you have a blessed day.

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