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Mud and Palaces

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by Maria Fontaine 01 June 2014

As much as we would like it, life is not always as wonderful as we’d wish, and we sometimes find ourselves having to brave the tumult of experiences that are hard to bear. Sometimes, when our patience and faith are tried, when all our attempts to do the right thing end up caked in the mud of problems and troubles, it seems impossible to find a sense of value in what we’re doing.

God’s power and love have to be demonstrated in the worst of times as well as the best. They have to work in the mud, not just the palace.

Consider the apostle Paul. Here is a man whom many Christians look to as an example of unshakable faith in the face of ongoing persecution and difficulties. However, even though he usually remained positive in the face of his struggles, he had his share of “mud” times.

Immediately after his encounter with Jesus and subsequent conversion in Damascus, Paul threw himself into the life of a disciple. He gave it his all, only to find that his change of heart had so enraged his former Jewish colleagues that they had assassins planning to kill him before he could leave the city. Neither was he trusted by his new brethren in Christ—his prior persecution of Christians even caused many of them to doubt the sincerity of his conversion.

When he was abandoned and shipped off to his hometown of Tarsus,1 it must have been very difficult for Paul to avoid feeling that he’d failed. But he didn’t give up, and in time God sent Barnabas with the vision to spread the gospel in Asia Minor and eventually throughout the Roman Empire.2

It’s true that many great men of faith had moments when they were “flying high,” like Joseph with Pharaoh, or Elijah calling down fire from heaven, or Daniel in the lions’ den, but most of the time they were down there in the mud with everyone else, because that’s where their faith could be clearly demonstrated and strengthened.

One moment, Joseph was on top of the world;3 the next, he was being sold into slavery in a foreign land.4 Then he worked his way up until eventually he was running the household of one of Egypt’s most prominent figures. But again, his success was short-lived, as he found himself the victim of this man’s vengeful wife, who landed him in a prison cell for standing up for his convictions.5

He must have felt like a total washout, but he used what little he had to carry on, even interpreting dreams for some other unlucky souls down in the “mud” of the prison. It was two years before he was released and catapulted into the position God had prepared for him as second in command in Egypt.6

And then there’s Moses. God had allowed Moses to be raised in Pharaoh’s court; yet young, strong, and confident Moses was not ready to become the instrument God would use to free His people.7 God had to put him down in the mud of Midian, struggling for 40 years in the wilderness as an exile until he was ready for God to fulfill His plan through him.8

And what about Jesus? He certainly had “mud” time! He even said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”9
Jesus works in each of our lives in a tailor-made way because no two people or lives are exactly the same. God’s examples of those He calls great all had one thing in common: they were determined to stay faithful through times when they couldn’t see God’s plan for them. Whatever the present and future hold for you, remember that He’s promised He will walk through it all by your side, whether in the palace or the mud.

1. See Acts 9:22–31.
2. See Acts 11:25–26; 13:1–3.
3. See Genesis 37:9–11.
4. See Genesis 37:28.
5. See Genesis 39.
6. See Genesis 40–41.
7. See Exodus 2:10–15.
8. See Acts 7:29–30.
9. Matthew 8:20 NIV

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Comments (6)

its been raining here and I wasn't looking and put the gumboot with the hole in it into a deep mud puddle ...a few minutes ago ...yuck! wave
hi Keys707cheers
The journey between mud n palaces is hard,even i m trying to strive for best.professor
My respect. I was struck most of all by those, as those centuries betrayed native, friends and darlings. I am the first time I read. Thanks for the cognitive blog.handshake
Good blog Keys, thank you for sharing and reminding us to strive to overcome all things that we may become who God intended us to be. handshake
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Dear friends and neighbors, much appreciating for your supportive contributions! Been quietly enduring and studying much resistance in my personal life. Drew me closer to acknowledging the greater needs, and focus, that all things works together for our good. God Bless! Love and Prayers!

You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.—Psalm 16:114

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