He lifted his knees up as far as he could and crawled slowly out of the quicksand. Then he stood up immediately and took off all his clothes.
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). The disciples listened.
Paul and Barnabas were being thrown out of an entire area. They did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They moved on. “They shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium” (Acts 13:51).
When we let something go, we have room for something else to replace it. Shaking off the grit leaves an empty spot. 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. If we’re leaving something, we may not be assured of what we are going to. We may turn our backs to being overly involved with certain people or certain organizations and when we go, we sometimes don’t quite know what to do.
We let other people and groups give us our identity and without them we may not be absolutely sure of who we are. But Jesus knows who we are and when we’ve lost something, or have just crawled out of the quicksand and are standing there naked—well that’s the perfect time to turn to Him. He is more than willing to show us the way. I love that verse in Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Sometimes I feel like we just stay in the quicksand or we get out and then just stand there naked, instead of just going to the door and letting Jesus in to have a chit-chat over dinner and figure out our next move.
Most of the time 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.
Or maybe we’re scheduled to leave but need to stay a while longer in the situation. Often that’s the hardest position to be in, holding out till we actually reach the exit.
In the show about the guy in the quicksand, he had to have presence of mind to just keep focused on what he needed to do—crawl slowly to the edge. He couldn’t really move too fast or he would be sucked down. So what do we do? We get discouraged or angry or fearful and stay put. But we need to just keep moving toward our goals, even if it’s only a little at a time.
When we have to stay in the mud hole until the right time to get out, a good way to stay healthy is to open that Revelation 3:20 door to the Lord and ask every day that He show us something new, teach us something we can use, give us some way to bless someone before we leave, things like that—things that keep our minds and hearts from being bitter. Instead of focusing entirely on the situation we’re in, we can focus on what He’s showing us, without being a part of it.
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? Obligation? Loyalty? Habit? I have no idea, but when it was over, I was kicking myself for not leaving sooner.
Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off and 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.
I have several friends who have taken on new adventures over the past year and I am so proud of them for having the boldness to move on. I pray they open the door for the real Jesus to come in, spend time with them and talk things over, then lead them in the next step of their lives.
Everyone is going to end up in some kind of quicksand at one point or another. But we have the ability to trust in Jesus to see us naked, clean us up, clothe us and lead us on. Let’s be courageous.
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