Echoes From the Campfire

There is a weariness of the flesh, and that can be borne.  Beyond that is a weariness of the bone, far harder to abide, but possible.  But the final weariness, of the nerves and brain, when a man may at any moment pitch unconscious from the saddle, is the worst and most unendurable torment.”
              –Paul I. Wellman  (The Comancheros)

       “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
              –Hebrews 12:3 (NKJV)
I had a couple of dogs once.  They were good dogs, when they came into the house, which was seldom, they would not leave the rug that was by the door.  However, they had one major problem–digging.  They were constantly digging up the yard, especially under the fence where they would get out and run. It cost one of them its life for someone shot it.  I finally had to get rid of the other dog.  What a mess they would make.
    Now there is a time to be digging holes and ditches.  There is a purpose in doing it; I’ve dug plenty in my time.  In fact, one summer I worked for a landscaper and it was my primary job to dig ditches.  We put in sprinkler systems, planted trees and shrubs, dug out other trees and shrubs.  It was a summer of digging.  But always with a purpose.
    Throughout the years I have noticed that many people, and I’ve done it myself, have dug ditches, trenches, and holes for themselves.  Sometimes I look and it seems as if they are trying to dig clear through the earth to China.  We dig ourselves into a hole, some of them so deep that we can’t climb out.  Then were are forced to sleep in that ditch.  (Maybe this don’t fit here, but it’s good to ponder:  someone once told me that a rut was simply a grave with both ends cut out).  
    We make mistakes, we find ourselves in a ditch, and instead of owning up or climbing out, we just keep on digging.  The ditch gets longer and deeper, and before too long we find we can’t climb out.  Then instead of working our way out, we sit down, grab our knees and begin a pity party that often leads to the deeper ditch of depression.  The thought comes to our mind, “you made your bed, now sleep in it.”  This becomes our motto, our creed for living.  That thought becomes embedded in our minds and we continually go on digging and digging and living with our mistakes.
    Hold on!  Don’t get me wrong.  We are responsible for our actions; we are accountable for our digging.  But there is another factor that we often forget about.  Even with the consequences of our mistakes Jesus is there reaching down to help pull us out of the ditch.  Our “ditch-digging” doesn’t have to haunt us the rest of our life, affecting our attitudes and lives.  Jesus promises a fresh start and He’ll even help wipe the dirt and mud off that has clung to our clothes.  
    Listen, I know, sometimes the ditch becomes too deep and when we look up all we can see is sky, and then we hope it doesn’t rain so far our ditch doesn’t become filled with mud.  Look closer and see that hand that is reaching for you.  We can’t get out, but if we grasp the hand of the Lord he can lift us up.  It reminds me of the words of the old hymn, “He brought me out of the miry clay….”  And those mistakes of the past; He can even use them and turn them into something good.