Wallowing In Mud
Did you know that elks like to wallow in mud? A wallowing hole is created by a bull elk finding a pool of water, digging into the ground with his hooves and antlers to push up the dirt, urinating into it and then rolling in it. As gross as this may sound, wallowing in this wet, muddy ‘odorous creation’ to attract females is the bull elk’s way of sending a clear message to all cows letting them know that his pheromone–soaked, perfumed coat along with his bugle calls mean he’s ready for action as the rutting season approaches. A smart hunter will search for a wallowing hole a couple of weeks prior to the mating process begins as this is the crucial time the bull starts to gather his harem of cows. Hiding in nearby trees for cover, the hunter can set up his spot by cutting into branches to create a shooting lane and ambush the bull elk while he is busy wallowing.
Like the bull elk, we too can wallow in the mud of our past offenses. We roll around and around in the muddy, repugnant odour of every infraction and wrongdoing covering ourselves in the stench of what other people have done to us, hoping to gain a harem of followers that becomes a herd.
Sadly, if you’ve been in church for any length of time you can spot a wallowing hole rather quickly. You’ll find every bruised and bitter soul covering themselves in the mud of gossip and slanderous comments, hoping it will attract others as the vengeful perfume divides up the Body of Christ rather than keeping the Body unified. I know, I was that person. I rolled many times in the wallowing hole of self-pity believing that my complaints about my past hurts were justified.
However, wallowing is dangerous for our spiritual growth because while we’re rolling around in the wet mud, discharging all our toxic waste the hunter, Satan is setting up a shooting lane ready to take a shot at you and start a blood trail, and if we’re too busy wallowing over our offenses, then the enemy goes unnoticed, and he can easily ambush you causing you to run and leave a blood trail.
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a vagabond is a person who wanders from place to place without a fixed home: one leading a vagabond life. Wallowers tend to be wanderers roaming around from church to church because of past offenses and the hunter, Satan will use all our indulgent feelings of hopelessness to his advantage, keeping the blood trail going from one church to the other.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that being mistreated by others is okay, far from it. But what I am saying is that if we want to be free from the blood trail that flows behind us, then we need to find the path that has a blood trail which leads us to the cross.
In Job 1:7, God asks the accuser where he’s been. ‘Oh, roaming here and there, running about the earth and observing its inhabitants.’ That’s what the hunter does, he observes you from the covering of his shooting lane in the forest trees as you wallow in your offenses. If we want to turn our wounds into scars and step into the future God has for us, we need to quit rolling around in the sludge and slush of gossip and slander by developing a maturity in our faith walk. Discipleship is the key motivator in our faith for our growth, so we are built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. As Donald Miller states, ‘Roll the credits on the stories that are done.’ Stop reading the long list of the cast and crew that offended you in a movie you no longer play a part in.
Isaiah 53:7-9 is proof that the crucifixion of Jesus heals every wound because ‘we’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on Him, on Him. He was beaten, He was tortured, but He didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. Justice miscarried, and He was led off – and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for His own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried Him with the wicked, threw Him in a grave with a rich man, even though He’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true.’
Jesus did all that so we could stay out of the wallowing hole and be healed from all the offences that have caused our wounds to bleed out.
Listen, dear friend, Churches will never be perfect because its Body is made up of people. Broken, wounded people. I know the wounds inflicted on others can be devastating and painful causing us to wallow in our anger and hurt, but I have found that the more I keep surrendering my brokenness to Jesus, the more the strong emotions attached to my scars start to fade.
Once we stop bathing our wounds in the stench of past offenses, the sooner we can stop running away from God and let Him turn our wounds into victorious scars. Like you, I have been badly wounded by the hunter, Satan, however, I don’t want to be a wallower anymore!
Are you rolling around in the mud of the wallowing hole because of past offences?
Jesus, I don’t want to wallow in offense anymore. I lay every offense that has caused wounding at the foot of the cross and ask You to make my garments clean. I don’t want to be a Spiritual vagabond anymore; I don’t want to wallow in the mud anymore. Let me feel the warmth of real, trusted friendships that keep me going along the journey ahead of me and help me to follow the path that flows with Your redemptive blood trail. Amen.
Except in this blog taken from my new book, ‘Wounded and on the Run” How The Worst Pain Can Lead You Into Your Greatest Calling.’ Published by Doll Ministries, Adelaide, SA, 2022.