Stuck in the Mud

The first time I jumped on my shiny, yellow steed, I promptly popped one of the back tires. You’d think there should be some sort of “new lawnmower” aura that makes the rubber slash proof. But I can assure you that as soon as you pry apart the crate from your Cub Cadet wonder, the wheels are very much mortal. One hidden piece of chainlink fencing is all it takes.

And, really, that was just the beginning.

I drove a nail through the front tire, cracked the other back tire, got a piece of metal cable wrapped around the blade, hit a branch that popped open the engine compartment, and knocked loose the belt that drives the blades. All that happened in less than a month. Then, despite all my previous misadventures, I thought I could beat an ominous looking cloudburst and whip through the grass with all that horsepower.

Funny how mud has other ideas. As soon as I rounded the turn at the corner of our property, I knew I’d made a mistake. The scraggly patch of grass that looked so solid as it whizzed toward me actually covered a soupy mess. Bloop. Down I went.

By that point, I’d already had my share of lawnmower wrestling matches. So, I hopped off, grabbed the back, and heaved.


So, I heaved and pulled backward.

Nothing. Not even an inch.

Furious rocking, tire spinning, wood prying, wife helping, lever twisting—nothing made the yellow beast move an inch. And by this point, rain exploded from the clouds and made the mess even worse.

Laughing and praying and feeling defeated. All that tumbled together in a soggy mess as I trudged back to the house. As I did, I remembered that saying people like to throw around: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”


Sometimes He has to. Driving us into the mud, putting our backs against the wall, pushing us to the limits—those are the only things that get our attention. We keep moving ahead, keep looking the wrong way, keep ignoring His whispers. Only when we’re driven deep into a muddy mess do we stop to cry out… and listen.

The weight is unbearable because it’s a weight we weren’t meant to carry. The worry overwhelms us because we forget to put those worries on Him. The sorrow breaks us because we forget that our hope is in Him.

He won’t allow us to be tempted beyond our limits, but He will lovingly allow us to take on more than our aching arms can carry, more than our tired backs can hold. We think we can do it; we think we can get by on our own.

But we weren’t meant to. We were meant to be dependent.

As for me, my Cub Cadet stayed overnight in the mire right there for everyone to see—a yellow eyesore and reminder of my folly. After work that day, a neighbor I’d never met before drove his Gator down our country road, tied on a rope, and pulled the yellow steed free. I needed outside help.

We all do.

Christ did what we couldn’t do. His sacrifice was more than we could ever hope to give. His death worth more than anything we had to offer. It crushed Him, sucked the life from His body. He died with all the weight of the world on Him.

But He could handle it. And He can handle your mud-stuck problems, too.