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Summer in the Psalms - Psalm 40

When I Feel Stuck in Life's Mud and Mire by Minnie Lee

Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.

As a kid, summertime seemed to be welcomed by bike rides. We'd ride for hours, playing hide and go seek on our bikes in the neighborhood, racing down Harmony hill with our feet resting on the bar and taking in the breeze as we went, and at least once a week pedaling over to the ice cream shack for some frozen yogurt.

It looks different for me now but I still find myself welcoming summer with evening bike rides. This time, though, I'm riding with my husband, Will, and pedaling through the park or around the lake on our tandem bicycle.

Sometimes the Oklahoma wind picks up, especially by the lake, and we may be pedaling our hardest but feel like we're going nowhere.

Have you ever felt this? Not just on a bike but in life?

My friend, Minnie Lee, is sharing her reflection of Psalm 40 with us and pointing us back to truth in those times when we feel stuck in life's mud and mire, pedaling endlessly but going nowhere.

Minnie is a speaker, business advisor, and health & personal finance coach. Her vocational call is to help individuals and organizations take their next step toward healing, growth and sustainability/wholeness. Her work includes advising individuals and organizations on thriving financially toward growth and sustainability; offer affordable healing programs for those who suffer from chronic pain; and preaching/teaching. These are largely based on her career experience and her personal experiences with trauma, chronic pain, singleness, faith and stewardship.

Minnie is Korean by birth, and American by citizenship. She currently resides in San Francisco, her home since 2011.

You can find her on instagram @minnieandtani_sf, Linkedin and her website

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. - Psalm 40:2

In the last 5 months of 2023, I was in a season of many good-byes. Good-byes to people, places, possessions, and even pets. Life certainly felt like the pit, with my limbs flailing about in the mud. While I knew in theory God would ultimately lead me to a new place and new beginnings, being in it was hard, exhausting and outright draining. I still feel overwhelmed at times from the memories of that season. 

When the new year started, I was ready to move forward. However, something was holding me back… I kept seeing myself on a bike, pedaling and pedaling, but not going anywhere, stuck in a pool of mud (not thinking of the above verse at that time). 

Towards the end of January, I was reading through Psalm 40 as I was preparing to write this devotional. I read it a few times to see which verse God was highlighting, so to speak. There were some of my usual favorites (verses 1, 6 and 17, for example) – but in this specific occasion, God wasn’t pointing me to them. I let a few days pass before picking it up again. I was almost at the end of the chapter, again without any “tugs,” then I could almost hear a whisper:

“I’ve already set your feet on a firm place to stand.”

This wasn’t about me not realizing where I was. I knew God has finally brought me into a new season and I was trying to run (or bike!) in it. What I didn’t know, however, was that I was still moving as if I was in the mud pit (picture flailing arms and legs) when I’m actually on solid ground. Functioning in the old when I was already in the new – it was only tiring me out and taking me nowhere. 

God has a way of nudging us with both gentleness and urgency. What a kind heavenly Father we have! When this happened, I paused, leaned back on my chair and looked outside my window. My mental spotlight shifted from me onto Jesus, who has been with me through it all and brought me out. And I saw myself standing on the palm of His hands, His place of restoration and new beginnings, and my only natural response to Him at that moment was…praise. Praise Him. Stop the flailing about, the strife, the struggle. Instead, stand firm and praise my Lord and savior. 

He put a new song in my mouth, and a hymn of praise to our God…” - Psalm 40:3, partial 

...immediately follows verse 2. I could see why.

I no longer felt like I was pedaling in vain. Now my readiness to move forward and the necessary action and behavior were finally in sync.

The greater truth, though, is that we can do this in ANY and ALL seasons – because the moment Jesus becomes our Savior and Lord, we are already placed on a firm place. He is our firm place to stand, even in, I mean, especially in life’s mud and mire. 

Wherever you find yourself today, I invite you to pause and turn your mental spotlight onto Jesus, who is with you exactly where you are and leading you through it. Holding on to him, relax your tight shoulders, look to him and straighten your legs to stand. He’s got you.

Now, It's Your Turn!

Before opening God's Word, take a moment to pray and ask God to meet you there. Then...

Read Psalm 40 a couple times. Highlight what stands out to you.

Circle verbs or specific wording you notice.

Then, write down a bullet point takeaway based on this. "I-statements" help make this personal. Think of this as a challenge statement.

  • Even in life's mud and mire-y moments, I can relax my tight shoulders, look to God and straighten my legs to stand. He’s got me.

Then, jot down a question or two to think about today. You don't have to have the answer to this question now. And yield to the Holy Spirit - prayerfully ask God to search your heart and lead you to more truth and grow your faith through the Holy Spirit.

  • In what way(s), do I feel like I'm pedaling and pedaling, but not going anywhere, stuck in a pool of mud? What fear or doubt do I need to let go of to more fully trust God has set my feet on the rock and given me a firm place to stand today?

Again, we don't have to be Bible scholars and talk only in the thou's and art's of King James version to read this book. ...because when we pray before we read, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with us, guiding and teaching us.

Praise God for this!

And praise God for refreshment as we are intentional to spend a summer in the Psalms together, for if we want His truth to ever be on our lips, it must first be planted in our hearts.

Our strength grows as we rely on strength from above. Our joy grows as we see God transforming us from the inside out. Our peace grows as we spend time in God's presence, and we find rest when we intentionally seek the Lord first in our lives, for the Lord is ever our portion.

The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.

I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!

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