Years ago I watched a documentary on Animal Planet. An elephant had sunk into a mud hole somewhere in Africa and could not get out by itself. Nature conservation and many enthusiastic helpers were at hand to try and get the animal out. Naturally, I sat watching with my heart in my throat. What struck me about the animal was its passive acceptance of the humans milling around it. Normally humans are not a species an elephant in the wilds wants near him. In fact an elephant feels threatened it will attack, stamp on and crush its enemy. This animal knew it had to trust the humans because there was no way out on its own.
At one stage the humans left the elephant there and went off to fetch a winch with which to try and pull it out. The elephant did not put its head down in the mud and drown. It did not struggle and perhaps sink further. No, it waited patiently for instinctively it knew the humans were helping it. The humans returned and continued to help the elephant out of the mud.
After many hours the ropes had pulled the front legs of the elephant out a little and it could find purchase on slightly drier ground. Many hands pushed it from behind, standing on planks laid across the mud hole and eventually the elephant heaved its whole body out of the mud. A loud cheer went up from the helpers. What a moment.
Of course, now the elephant was very weak from many hours in the mud and wobbled on its feet. The helpers held it up with the ropes until it steadied itself and off it lumbered into the bush. The nature conservation personnel monitored its recovery for a few days and reported that at last sighting it was fit and healthy and had rejoined the herd again.
This morning I thought about that elephant again. No matter how dire my circumstances, I have to trust the Lord and patiently wait for him to lift me up and set me on my feet again.
The next Scripture sums it up beautifully:
Psalm 40: 1-2
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Amen!