Why do I dig muck? I have a 60-foot pier that can have as little as 6 inches of water at the end. That’s barely enough to float my Mitey-Toon mini pontoon boat, and not nearly enough for my 14-foot Sea-Nymph. The low lake levels are made worse by rotting tangles of Eurasian milfoil that clog my lake-front and spawn sandbars.
So, because dredging permits are hard to get, I dig muck by hand. One shovel-full at a time. I’ve been at it for over 15 years. So far, the project has cost me 4 shovels, because I keep breaking the handles clean off. Yet I’ll keep digging muck until the lake freezes. Then, after ice-out next spring, I’ll dig muck again. It’s never-ending.
Never-ending: sin is that way, too! Like rotting milfoil, sin chokes our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, coworkers, and our Heavenly Father. (Isaiah 57:20) Even worse? We can’t shovel this sin-muck out of our lives. Not even if we spent the rest of our lives working at it and agonizing over it night and day.
500 years ago, Martin Luther learned this the hard way. As an Augustinian friar, Luther ruined his health trying to clean up his life by scrubbing stone floors until they gleamed, making endless confessions, and fasting to the brink of starvation. Yet nothing brought Luther peace, until the Holy Spirit used the Scriptures to open Luther’s eyes to see Jesus as Savior, not judge! (2 Corinthians 4:6) And rightness (righteousness) with God? We can’t buy perfection or earn it. Rather it is the Lord’s free gift of grace! (Romans 1:17)
I’ll take advantage of warm October days and keep digging my lake muck. While I dig, I’ll keep the Psalmist’s song in my heart. I suggest you do the same.
“Then he pulled me up from the deadly quicksand, from the mud and muck. He made my feet stand on a rock to keep my steps from slipping. Then he put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear. They will trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 40:2-3, EHV)
Privileged to serve,