Shake It Off
Here’s a story I have heard several times. It is obviously fiction, but as an illustration it conveys a powerful lesson. If you are already familiar with it, humor me and allow it to be told once again, as I believe it will minister to you today.
A farmer had an old mule. One day that old mule fell into an old, dried up well. Try as the farmer might, he simply could not get the mule out of the well because the hole was so deep. At a certain point, the farmer gave up hope and decided that the best thing would be to bury the old mule and put it out of its misery. So, the farmer got a shovel and began to dump dirt into the well. As he began to shovel, he heard the mule bray frantically. Hours later, after a number of shovels of dirt had been deposited, the braying had stopped. Thinking the mule had given up and was now dead and buried, he looked into the hole. To his surprise, the mule was standing upright in the well, still alive. As a matter of fact, he was nearly to the top of the well and was almost able to step out of the hole. Each time, the farmer had shoveled dirt into the hole, the mule shook the dirt off his back and stepped on top of it. As the hole filled with dirt, the mule had continued to step on top of the dropped dirt, allowing it to become his floor. Higher and higher the mule rose in the well. When he saw this, the farmer was overjoyed. He resumed his shoveling, and soon the mule stepped out of the now-filled well.
We all experience challenges in life, times where it seems like everything is being piled on our backs. We feel like we are being buried alive. We think that there is no way out of our situation and discouragement threatens to set in. However, if take our lead from the mule in our story, we can take each obstacle or difficulty as it comes and choose to shake it off, giving it to the Lord to be solved. If we wait until the concerns and problems have piled up, it becomes harder to release the care of them to Him, but if we address them early and individually, it doesn’t seem so intimidating. As the Lord helps us to overcome each one, we become stronger in our faith, and we grow, rising higher in Him. And once every issue has been handled, we can look back and see how each problem that was confronted and overcome in faith actually prepared us to handle the next one.
Today, the enemy may be trying to take you down with every weapon he has. But, using the Word of God and His promise that He will never leave or forsake you, shake off each attack and surrender it to God. The very thing the enemy is using against you will turn out to be a help to you. In the end, you will walk away not only victorious, but stronger and wiser.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (New American Standard Bible, NASB)
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. Psalm 40:2 (NASB)