One hot summer day, I watched our Blue Healer, Rocky, stroll across the field and walk into the neighbor’s pond. He looked rather handsome with the sun behind him as he emerged from the refreshing water. As is typical of wet dogs, he shook himself, starting at his nose and ending at the very tip of his tail. The water danced in all directions, with the sunlight reflecting off of each drop. Then Rocky did something that ruined the serene scene. He trotted his wet self to the nearest dirt hole, lowered his shoulder, then his entire body into the waiting dirt. There he proceeded to roll from side to side, not missing a square inch. As I watched in amazement, I was reminded of myself. No, I do not roll in the dirt after a refreshing dip in the pool, but there have been times that I did something similar. After wonderfully refreshing times with my Lord, I have followed up with a good roll in the dirt.
I have praised God, enjoyed His presence, and found myself falling even more deeply in love with him, but come away from these extraordinary times only to find myself doubting, worrying, or forgetting the experience that drew me to my precious Savior. Unlike my furry friend, I did not mean to go there, but I did. Perplexed, I wondered how this could happen. I do know, according to the bible, I am not the only one to whom this happens. Paul, even Paul says though he wants to do right, he does what he hates.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15 NIV)
I am not a theologian, but I know “the enemy” the devil hates for us to enjoy the Lord’s presence. He cringes as we praise Him and loves to see us innocently waltz out of the refreshing “Living Water” and find ourselves rolling in a wallowed-out dirt hole of doubt.
I prayed with a young woman who cried as she told me how she had been so close to God but then found herself doing what she did not want to do. My heart broke for her and myself because I have been there many times in my life.
How do we avoid the dreaded dirt hole? First, I need to be ready and alert for the attack and then remember the truths that I have stored in my heart. Put on the whole armor of God. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness that protects our heart, along with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The bible tells us that we all fall short of the glory of God, but He is ever forgiving us and sends His Holy Spirit when we are tempted to lower our shoulders into a pit of sin and doubt. May each morning be a reminder of His unfailing love for me even when I bathe in His glory but head for the nearest mud hole.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalm 143:8 NIV)
Writer, Prayer Warrior, Answers2Prayer Ministries