WHERE’S YOUR QUICKSAND?
He crawled out of the quicksand, stood up immediately and took off all his clothes. He scraped and shook the grit and the muck off of his body before it had a chance to dry. He had to act speedily so that the hot African sun wouldn’t burn his skin while he had his clothes off. If he didn’t shake and scrape off the grit, it would rub his armpits and groin so badly that he would develop horrible boils and be in excruciating pain.
I saw this story on TV and it reminded me of something Jesus said to his disciples: “Whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them” (Luke 9:5). Did the disciples listen?
Yes. Paul and Barnabas were being thrown out of an entire area where previously they’d had a wonderful time. They didn’t try to stay and tough it out. They didn’t get angry and they didn’t mope around either. Maybe they stayed too long? The Bible doesn’t say. But it does tell us what the solution was.
They did exactly what Jesus told them to do and they did it quickly. “They shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium” (Acts 13:51). They immediately moved on.
When we let something go, something else needs to replace it. Shaking off the grit leaves an empty spot, a vacancy. The survivalist who crawled out of the quicksand barely made it out and he had to expose himself. He got naked. When we’re trapped in something, part of our deliverance may include being exposed. We seem to stay in negative situations longer than we should. Some of the reasons could be: We honestly don’t realize how bad they are. We know how bad they are but we don’t want to acknowledge it. We are too afraid or too tired to think about having to change. We don’t have much hope in what’s ahead. So what do we do? We get discouraged or angry or fearful and stay put.
I remember when I was about a month away from moving back to the States from South Africa. I worked at an insurance company doing some filing. Every day was drudgery. It was horrible and literally was making me sick and weak. I didn’t need the money. So why did I stay? I can’t really say because I don’t know. Obligation? Loyalty? Habit? I have no idea, but when it was over, I was kicking myself for not leaving sooner. I could have spent my last month going to the game reserves and having a great time instead of killing myself at a job I hated. How many times have we all done that? We look back at situations and say “I should have gotten out sooner!”
Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off and immediately went to the next town. That’s what Jesus taught them to do and Jesus really does know the best solutions for every problem. The survivalist shook and scraped off the quicksand, put his clothes back on and took off for the next adventure.
Everyone is going to end up in quicksand at one point or another. But we have the ability and willingness inside of us to shake off the grit and move on. God promises a wonderful future, so don’t let the quicksand pull you under.
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