A Lesson from a Mule

MuleI 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)

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, but there was nothing they could do. Sadly, the farmer made the difficult decision that neither the 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 the mule 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! 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? Do you give way to bitterness, or self-pity? 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” The adversities you face each day can either bless you or bury you. The choice is up to you. Your attitudes determine which will happen—deliverance or burial—stones of offence or stepping-stones. 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 Zoë Girl on their album, Mix of Life  © 2002 Sparrow