“A sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured it up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth… because they had no root they withered away. Some fell among thorns; the thorns sprung up and choked them. Others fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some a hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold…” (Matthew 13). The good news is it all brought forth fruit, anywhere it was sown, and that’s the story of Jesus Christ.
“Can the rush grow up without the mire?” That was Bildad the Shuhite’s question to Job in Chapter 8 verse 11. Bildad’s purpose for that question was to be revealed in a later verse (19), for “out of the earth others shall grow.” Mire! That’s what we all are experiencing in some way or another. It comes in a thousand different recipes but it’s ugly, it’s gooey and it sticks! Just showing up in this fallen world qualifies you for a bit of mire and muck in your life.
Jesus often met people in the mire, in their darkness, and he did something about their lives. In fact most all the miracles were expressed to the lost, the least, the last. People stuck in their mire if you will. Tax collectors, the blind, the lame, the sick, the poor, the hungry, the brokenhearted, the lonely outcast-all stuck in the unpleasantness this life can bring. Perhaps the most stuck guy in the bunch was Saul and his murderous attitude against the Christian Faith. Paul went from violently persecuting the Church, from overseeing the stoning of Stephen, to Apostle. All that Jesus touched were raised up out of their unique situations and given ‘newness of Life.’ God makes Life out of mire! He makes something beautiful out of ugly, gooey and sticky. Not necessarily overnight, but with time. As those seeds are sown they will need to have some rest, some quiet, will need to be hidden away in the ground before they are visible above the ground. In Jesus’ parable, the farmer planted and went away, not looking back, but leaving that hidden seed to work its way to the surface and be seen. Many times our lives will need that same procedure as well. If you plant and immediately start rooting around, rummaging for proof of a crop, you will destroy the very crop that is hoped for. Left to itself, given time to germinate, left undisturbed, it will produce new Life, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred fold, but a harvest will come no matter; all that can come out of the rotting, decomposing things of our lives. Don’t give up. Jesus came to overcome the mire and bring us Life.
Bildad’s rushes were actually reeds that grew along the Nile River bank. Just to look at them, you might not have a clue as to what a great benefit they were to that culture. However, they truly played a significant part in people’s daily lives and carried significant value because they had so many uses. Papyrus reeds were woven and used for clothing, their roots were burned for warmth, the rushes were woven to make sails for their boats, the poor people had to eat the plant occasionally, and many times they were crushed and made into papyrus paper. Moses, who as a baby was hidden in the rushes, eventually used the reed papyrus paper to write the first books of the Bible. Amazingly, the Egyptians advanced their culture above all others of that time because of their ability to write and pass their thoughts and way of living down to the next generation. Simply, without those rushes we would have had no books, no written narrative or literature from their history. Just as importantly, however, there would not have been any rushes without the “muck” in the bottom of that Nile River bank. Yep, muck! That mire turned out to be pretty important stuff. It was located about 6 feet below the rushes. In its own unique way it was miracle stuff. Muck is a coagulation of dead things, dead things that produce life. Today it could be compared to the stuff you’ve felt between your toes if you’ve ever been brave enough to step out into a farm pond. It looks and smells terrible. It’s dark, ugly stuff for sure, but without the mire, the rush would not grow! Without the mire the rushes that benefited those people would not have been possible. That stuff under water, out of sight and seemingly insignificant, was the foundation to what was seen above the water. In the order of God, mire comes before the reed! Another way to say it is to have good reeds you gotta have “muck.”
Just like Bildad, we believe that “out of good soil others shall grow.” Our declaration is it’s God’s desire to grow Life out of the daily muck we may come in contact with, make something new out of something dead, bringing Life to life. Even in the middle of muck, there is still hope for Life to spring out of that darkness. Jesus’ implication all along was that we would need to bury our lives in order to see a risen Life. We would have to die to our own mire in order for our new Lives to come forth.
WBVN “sets the table” for all ministry to come and sow, tend and harvest. We prepare the environment, charge the environment, with potential for the miracles we call the Christian Life. Our prayer is that the Christian community would be mixed with encouragement and faith, that apostolic ministry would follow to lead us in the Spirit of Christ, that teachers would come and plant Word seed, that pastors would care for the community of faith, and that the evangelists would inspire healings in the Church Life and the dead would be brought to Life. Of all people, we who believe in Christ and all that He did to provide Life as the Father would have it for us, we have the most Hope.
From all of us at the station we wish you a great summer and hope to see you at the concerts this fall. Thank you for supporting and praying for this ministry.