After several weeks of drought, we have finally had some good soaking rains in Duplin County. Most have been “sizzer-sozzer” rains (just a little more than a drizzle) but a few have been “toad-frog stranglers.” (You can guess what type of rain that is.)
I was headed toward Wilmington one morning when I spotted this truck off to the side of the road. My theory is that the driver was trying to back down this driveway and got a little too far to one side. The truck slid into the ditch made muddy by the heavy rains the night before. No matter how much gas he gave to get it out, all he did was spin his wheels. Since there was no one with the truck when I stopped, I figure he went to get some help.
I have to admit, there are times I get stuck as well. I don’t mean off-the-road in my vehicle stuck. I mean emotionally and spiritually stuck. I find myself in a rut of negative thinking, unable to move my brain to a place of “peace that passes all understanding.” I get into unhealthy ways of relating that keep me from moving forward with friends and family members. I even find my relationship with God gets stagnant and unfulfilling.
In spite of my good intentions, my efforts to change feel like I’m spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I can relate to Paul’s confession, “I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it… I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.” (Romans 7:18, 24-25 MSG) Paul discovered that all of his best efforts at self-improvement weren’t cutting it either. But he knew where to go for help.
I know Jesus is my spiritual “tow truck” who can get me out of my self-imposed ruts. We are told that we can approach God’s throne with confidence, knowing we can “find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) What I need to practice is allowing him to do the driving of my life to begin with, so I don’t end up axle-deep in trouble.
It’s been a few years since Carrie Underwood introduced the song, “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” My days go much better when I start with that prayer.