March 15, 2012

In the Ditch

Psalm 40

He lifted me … out of the mud and mire … and gave me a firm place to stand.
—Psalm 40:2


One day in winter while we were driving through Illinois, a blizzard closed our route. Heroic road crews enabled us to continue our journey home the next day.

Along the way that day, we saw vehicles of every description that were still stuck in ditches along the highway. Just when we wondered how the big semi-trailer trucks—upright, jack-knifed, or flipped on their sides—would be pulled out, we saw the removal of one in progress. Two large tow trucks, carefully positioned on the road, had attached cables to the trucks and were winching them to safety.

The comparison to our spiritual lives was inescapable. We are severely mired in sin and troubles. Some of us may seem upright; others are obviously bent; still others seem irreparably damaged. Our sin has different faces, yet we all need help.

But here is the telling difference. Jesus Christ did not stay on the high, dry, safe ground of heaven (Philippians 2:6-8). He took the greatest risk and plunged into the deepest ditch to rescue us. He did not merely extend a long arm that we could grab on to. He came down, slipped underneath us, lifted us up, carried us to safety, and sent us on our (his) way.

Lent is a good time to thank Jesus for lifting us out of the mud and giving us a firm place to stand.

Lord Jesus, in this Lenten season we thank you for lifting us up, carrying us to safety, and sending us on your way. In your name we hope. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!