Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Donkey & Dirt...Huh?

I'm sure (or rather hope) you've all read the forward email about the donkey who fell into the hole. His owner, a farmer, called all his neighbors to help him get the donkey out of the hole. They tried and tried to no avail. So the farmer decided to fill in the hole with dirt. Shovel by shovel, the dirt would fall into the hole. As it hit the donkey, he shook it off his back. This continued day after day. He was hit with dirt and he shook it off. The dirt he shook off would land under his feet and it would provide elevation for him to rise higher and higher within the hole. Before he knew it, the donkey had shook off the dirt and raised himself out of the hole with the same dirt that seemed to be burying him.

Let's look at what is being said here. First, the farmer and his neighbor's could not see past the impossibility of not being able to get the donkey out. In their human mind set they saw it as hopeless and futile to try any further. What they saw as impossible, God saw as an opportunity. They gave up because their mind could not comprehend a possible solution, a way out of the hole for the donkey. They lacked a vision to see a way to save the donkey. They lacked faith and trust. But even still God used the impossible situation for the good of the donkey. You know I like to quote my pastor with his words "impossible odds lead to amazing miracles."

What is impossible with men is possible with God. Luke 18:27

For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matt. 19:26

With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God. Mark 10:27

We can look further and see that the dirt represents the attacks that Satan (and life) throws at us. We must be willing to shake off the the dirt like the donkey did and use that dirt to elevate ourselves out of the hole, the pit. What Satan means for our harm (the dirt) God uses for our good (getting us out of the hole). But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Mark 8:33 Did you see WHO Jesus called Satan? Yes, indeed, Satan does use God's own people, our people. Peter was one of His own, of course we know the road Peter traveled. Wow...to have Jesus rebuke one of His own. Notice in the above scripture that Peter's mind frame was of this world, of flesh, and of men. It was not on things of GOD! That goes right back to the perspective that men (people) can fall trap to having no vision, no vision of God and what God can do but rather we can be focused on this world and what seems possible in this world.

There are attacks of Satan and of this world that are not that easy to shake off. Satan disguises himself and we are in a spiritual warfare. It is not a matter of shake 1-2, 1-2 and it's gone. Sometimes the dirt is thrown on us and then water (more junk) may be add. It is much harder to shake off "mud" than dirt. We may have to allow that mud to dry back to the form of dirt. We may even be knocked around a couple times but again this is good because it will crack that hardened mud. By no means do I believe life is as easy as just shaking it off. It's not always as easy as telling my little niece who falls and bumps her knees to "shake it off, shake it off." And she so sweetly shakes her little body. Some things, yes, but not all things. Sometimes it takes more effort, more shakes to remove that dirt. In the end, with our God, we will have the same result...He will use the bad Satan intended for us to elevate us and raise us out of the hole.

It may seem as though I am saying we pull ourselves out of the pit. No, indeed, God allows the dirt so that we can be raised out of the pit. I do not believe that everything that happens in this life is God's will nor do I believe that He expects us to sit waiting for Him to wave His magic wand. Yes, many times in life we are called to be silent and wait upon Him. Yet, if we continually live our life just waiting on God and not being "in tune" with Him, we WILL miss opportunities He's calling us to act. There are indeed times, that He calls us to be silent and wait and there are times He calls us to move and act. We must always be open and listening to God so that we don't miss that window of opportunity He provides. A friend recently shared that God laid before her a child not breathing. Had she not been "in tune" to hearing God, had she not been ready to act, that little girl would've died. It is a false misconception that do nothing and wait upon the Lord. He is not a puppeteer. We are to follow and act. When He says go, we go. The key is being in constant fellowship with God so that we clearly know when He gives the green light and when He gives the red. Our lives are not filled with red lights.


Do you see pattern with the donkey and our God? Whatever bad hits us is turned to good for those who love Jesus (Romans 8:28). We get dirt thrown on us. God uses that as our elevation. We get mud on us and we get knocked around. God uses that to crack off the mud. We get thrown in the pit, the hole, God raises us up!

This is the glorious and shall I say it - awesome - God we serve. I am reserved in when I use that word. I restrict my use of the word awesome to ONLY reference God or His acts. Nothing else deserves the reverence of being called awesome except for Him. I guess that's something a friend told me long ago and it has forever stuck with me...like a pet peeve.

To God be all the glory for it is only through Him and Him alone that He can and DOES turn our impossible situations into amazing miracles. It is with Him that all things ARE possible. All things are possible with God." Mark 10:27

Having felt the attacks of this world and Satan, I too, am determined just like that donkey, to do my part and shake off what Satan throws at me. I am not out of the hole, but boy, I know Who is enabling me to stand on the dirt Satan and the world throws and I know what waits for me on the top of the hole.

Jesus is awesome! Absolutely awesome. I had no idea that I would be able to write a post so full of praise so recent of feeling like I was once again thrown into the hole with the donkey and not shovels but barrels of dirt just pounding on me. I wondered how many days before I took a breath of fresh air. Do the events of recent days still bother me? Yeah, they tug at my heart with a twinge of pain but I must remain focused on my Lord and that He IS sufficient for me. I KNOW that wonderful things are in store for me and my future. I trust Him and I believe in Him but I also believe Him and what He's placed on my heart.

Be Blessed Dear Ones,

24 comments:

Sheryl said...

That's that word again...focus. We must remain focused on the Lord and not on our circumstances. He is allowing them but they don't define us. Great post, Paula.

Sheryl

GOD'S LADIE said...

Another great encouraging post! This story is truly inspiring especially during a time when it seems that I am in that very same hole. I have used this story before as an opener in my meeting with my staff and they thought it was wonderful and encouraging.
God Bless,
LaTonya

littlerad said...

Amen!!! You only need to focus on what God is doing, and he will be the one that gets you through, he is also the one that heals... You are in my prayers...
Connie
GBU

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So glad you're emerging again. I, too, walk through seasons of dirt. The enemy knows when and where to throw. Here lately, he's picked some new tactics. I'm on to him, and by the power of God's Spirit living within, I've been able to more quickly identify his schemes.

Thank you for sharing your heart.

peace~elaine

JnL4God said...

Paula,
Hi honey what a nice post. I have always liked that e-mail I've seen it many times and in different versions but the story is the same, the donkey perservered. Sorry I haven't written you much but it looks like you are in the right frame of mind and with lots of support. Keep up the good work, don't grow weary in your well doing.
Hugs,
Lynn
Forgive spelling no spell check here. :)

Tonya said...

Paula, Yes! I've seen this email before. There is a lot to be learned from that old donkey huh?

I hope all is well with you. I've almost caught up on responding to my comments (I was a week behind) so hopefully I can get back on track with other things as well.

I guess I just wanted you to know that I'm here and praying!

I love you, my Sister!

Yolanda said...

Paula,

Very true and that with all of that dirt and the moving up, being elevated to to the point, which we will WITH Christ, to walk right on out of there. That mess then becomes our message.

This was very timely for me, and encouraged me so.

Thanks!

Resting In Him,
Yolanda

Natalie said...

I have not read this email before. I have definitely had my seasons of being buried in the dirt. It's hard when in that hole to see the light on the other side. Thank goodness we have the reassurance that the "light" is always there helping us emerge out.

desert rose said...

Paula this is your strongest blog yet. I can see how the Holy Spirit is working in you.... Be encouraged because the Lord will bless you with the desires of your heart.... love ya dear sister IN CHRIST...kathy

Kim said...

What a great post. I've head this same story, being told through the eyes of a man who fell down into a hole as he worked for a construction company. Of course, the men working above couldn't hear his yelling for help and soon the big trucks began filling the hole with dirt.

The man became fearful..and didn't know what to do. Then, a still small voice spoke to his heart and said, "as the dirt falls...shake it off...and step up."

What a great illustration to each of us. When lifes storms seem to be raining heavy loads of dirt on us, all we need to do is, "shake it off..and step up."

Be blessed friend.

Kim~

Jenn at Casa de Castro said...

LOVE the story of the donkey every time I read it! Thanks for another well thought out, powerful and encouraging post.

Blessings to you, Paula.

godlover said...

Great post, Paula, I really enjoyed it. I get the dirt a lot but sometimes I forget to shake it off and step up until it takes much more effort than God had planned. I am slow to learn. I had never heard the donkey story. Really is a great story line to use. And thanks for helping me out on how to find info on different blogs. I still have so much to learn about blogging.

YSIC
Marj
Calaveras County CA
http://gdlvr.blogspot.com

Kristen said...

To Him be all the glory as we lift our muddied faces to the light and praise His name as He pulls us out of the pit.

You are right - Jesus is awesome! I am praising Him as He has lifted you up and dusted you off sweet sister!

skoots1mom said...

you're sweet, I have not thought of googlin' it...but I will...i'll post some ideas.
I'll be outside all day tomorrow on a mission site, so I'll stuff some dryer sheets in my pockets...and rub down my legs with "Skin so Soft"...it can't hurt.
have a great weekend!

Tracy said...

Wow! I had never heard this story but what a GREAT object lesson...keeping our eyes fixed on Christ and following his prompts (even when it may seem futile or senseless). Amazing.

Thank you for your very kind words today. I really hesitated about whether or not to post that story because of its length, but its one I wanted to tell for the longest time. Glad it blessed you. = )

God Chaser said...

Great post Paula,
Life is very good at throwing dirt on us and learning to shake it off can be difficult- but glory to God Who turns the impossible into the possible, May we always be women who shake, shake the enemy off.

Mocha with Linda said...

I love this story of the donkey. What a great perspective about our negative circumstances that we try to shake off!

Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement and for visiting my blog! It's great to "meet" you!

Joyful said...

Paula - this is wonderful! It reminds me of a Beth Moore quote that I memorized over a year ago that God spoke to me at a time I really needed to trust Him. Beth writes, "Your enemy is standing on your God-given ground, daring you to take possession of it." My enemy, Satan, cannot begin to stand against my God!

Claiming victory,
Joy

littlerad said...

Paula,
Your welcome and I will talk to you tomorrow...
Connie
GBU

Edge of Design said...

This is an excellent analogy and a lesson worth learning. Thanks for your psot today! I have a need to copy and print it to pass on to someone else who is deep in the mud. Do you mind?

valerie said...

Paula,
What a neat story. I heard it a long time ago, but it was great to be reminded again.
I agree with Elaine, satan is always trying new tactics and we have to be "on to him."
I love how you wrote about the promises God has for you and for your life. Yes, we will have seasons of tough times, but when we stay in-tune with God through prayer and His Word....His promises about what He has to say to us, we'll make it!
I'm proud of you and thankful for this post.
Love you,
Valerie

Mommyluann said...

Great Word! I found your blog from Littlerads. I enjoyed looking around. come over and visit...

mommyluann.blogspot.com

Blessings!

Melanie said...

Paula, What a wonderful message in this post and one that I so desperately needed to hear today! Thank you so much!

Have a great weekend!

sharon said...

Thankkkkkk youuu! That story was sooooo good. By the time I got done reading this I was pretty much yelling praises, found myself bouncing in my seat. Yes again thank you

Sharon