The rain had stopped when it was time to leave and we took off down the dirt road shortcut in a caravan of cars headed to our various studios to meet the students for the day. Suddenly, the cars ahead of me came to a halt, and ladies started climbing out, gathering together and peering up ahead. I turned off the engine and joined the milling crowd at the head of the line.
Water had run across the road. It had not cut a deep rut, and in fact, was a nice shallow-looking, easily fordable stream, but we had all lived in the country long enough to know you don’t just drive through water running across an unpaved road. “Someone needs to walk out there and check the road,” was the consensus.
Have I mentioned that at 35 I was the youngest in the group by about thirty years? Instantly, all heads turned toward me. Having been silently elected, I slipped off my shoes and started across the newly created waterway. I took five firm steps only to have to grab my skirt and hike it up over my knees as I sank exactly that deep on the sixth. Instantly I had visions of those jungle movies I used to watch on Saturday afternoons as a kid, where the first one in the safari line sinks in the quicksand because, in spite of everyone telling him to be still, he wiggles and squirms and sinks before anyone can even think to cut a vine and use it to pull him out—or if some bright fellow does think of it, twenty people on the other end cannot out-pull the suction of a big mud puddle..
A good minute later it dawned on me that my name was being called, and I still had not sunk any farther. My feet had found a solid layer of hardpan about two feet below the surface so Tarzan swinging to the rescue was totally unnecessary. I made my way back to the group with the most unladylike thwock, thwock, thwock noises as the suction released with each step. We all carefully backed our cars down the one lane road, turned around in the driveway from where we had started and went the long way home, down the paved state highway.
Hopelessness in the scriptures is often pictured as “sinking.” Jeremiah prophesies that Babylon will sink and shall not rise again because of the evil I will bring upon her, 51:64. Amos warns Israel that they are in for the same punishment: they shall sink again like the River of Egypt, 8:8; 9:5. And all because of sin. Even Peter, when he tried to walk on water, began to sink because of little faith and doubt, Matt 14:31. And truly, just like sinking in the quicksand (at least in the old grade B movies), there is nothing we can do but hope a savior happens along. Praise God, he has!
The Psalmist pleads in 22:8 Commit yourself to Jehovah, let him deliver you; let him rescue you, seeing he delights in you. In spite of the fact that, like an ignorant city slicker, we walked out into that mud on purpose, in spite of the fact that we ignored warning after warning, and kept right on wiggling and squirming, and even when we have been pulled out before, but keep stepping right back into the same pool of quicksand, Jesus is ready to hold out a hand and save us.
Deliver me out of the mire and let me not sink… Let not the waterflood overwhelm me and swallow me up…Answer me, oh Jehovah, for your lovingkindness is good. According to the multitude of your tender mercies, turn to me; and hide not your face from your servant, for I am in distress; answer me quickly. Psa 69:14-17