2017-12-07 / Opinions

When a mule kicks you around the barnyard, know that Jesus is there ready to pick you up

By ROGER ALFORD

A woman watched as her husband put new horseshoes on a rather ill-tempered mule.

That mule hauled off and kicked the man, sending him rolling across the barnyard.

The frightened wife quickly grabbed the phone and called the doctor.

“Come quick,” she screamed into the phone. “The mule has kicked my husband.”

“Calm down, ma’am,” the doctor said. “Tell me where the mule kicked him.”

“From the barn about halfway over to the corn crib,” she said.

Mules have proven they can be troublesome, dating back to biblical times. You may remember that King David’s son, Absalom, was once riding a mule that took him under the thick branches of an oak tree. Absalom’s head caught in the oak, and he was left hanging as the mule kept going.

A rebellious young man, Absalom had tried to overthrow his father as king. When his plan fell apart, he was riding fast, in a hurry to get away. Absalom is proof positive that, when we’re speeding in the wrong direction, we can get ourselves into some serious trouble. It tends to be the fleshly nature of man to go the wrong way, as Absalom did.

The good news is that when people come to the realization that they’ve gotten nothing but complications, heartaches, sorrows, and guilt on the paths they’ve chosen, they have a true friend ready to come alongside them. His name is Jesus, and He will put us on a straight and narrow road that leads to Heaven. He also will minister to the hurts we accumulate while on the broad way that leads to destruction.

Jesus says “come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). No one knows better than Jesus that life on this earth can be difficult. He spent about 34 years here doing good, and ultimately was arrested, put through a mockery of a trial, beaten with a whip until his flesh was so torn and bloody that he was unrecognizable, then nailed on a cross where he died a tortured death.

“Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

When we feel like we’ve had just about all we can take, when we’re tired and worn out and feel we can’t take another step, aren’t you glad we can look to Jesus, the one who loves us with a love beyond measure?

When we feel like we’ve been kicked around in this world, worse than what the mule did to that woman’s husband, just know that Jesus is there, ready to pick us up.

(Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.)

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