A Lesson from a Mule

By The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

I used to close my eyes and pray the time would pass me by                                        So I could fly away in my dreams to anywhere unreal                                                And I’d hide away from everything                                                                                     I didn’t know what was real, I didn’t know the truth                                                   There was a day when somebody introduced me to You                                              And You breathed Your life in me…                                                                             You set me free [1]

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” –Joseph        (Genesis 50:20)

oldjackassDoes it seem that life is trying to bury you? You keep trying to dig yourself out but life throws more dirt on you. So you think to yourself, “What’s the use?” Why even try?” Have you just about giving up on hoping that things are going to get better? If so, I know exactly how you feel.

I gave up on life many times. I had been through much sadness. Sexual abuse, Vietnam, failed marriages, children taking away from me and moved so far away that I couldn’t see them on any kind of regular basses. And failure?! Oh, yes! I’ve had failure in ministry and failure on the work force, failure as a father and husband. I was daily facing bouts with deep seeded depression that made me borderline suicidal. My problems were no more worst that that of many others, yet I do empathize with those of you who feel like they have been dragged through Hell.

What should we do when this happens? Let me tell you a story, a old parable if you will.

There was a farmer who owned an old mule. One day it stepped on some rotted planks covering an old abandoned well. The weight of the mule caused him to brake through the cover and fall into the well. The farmer heard the crash of the mule’s fall and the mule’s terrified bellowing and came running.

He gathered some friends and they tried in vain to get the old mule out. There was nothing they could do. Sadly, the farmer made the difficult decision that neither the old mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. So, he got some shovels and he and a few friends began to bury the old mule in the well in hopes of putting him out of his misery.

When the dirt began to fall on the mule he started to panic!  But then something dawned on him. Every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he would just shake it off and step up on it! No matter how painful the falling dirt was or how bad the situation seemed the old mule fought off panic and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up. Soon the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly out of the well!  The thing that was designed to bury him actually brought about his deliverance.

Do you ever feel like life is burying you? If so, how do you respond? Do you give into panic? Are you like I use to be? Do you give way to bitterness or self-pity or both? 2Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (NIV) The problems that we face each day can either bless us or bury us. The choice is up to us. Our attitude determines which will happen—deliverance or burial—stones of offence or stepping-stones into a higher realm of spiritual awareness. You decide.

So, the next time you think life is trying to bury you remember the old mule. Just shake it off and step up.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

[1] I Believe by Alisa Girard as recorded by “ZoeGirl”


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