Life Quicksand

Do you ever feel like you’re firmly on solid ground— life is completely stable; everything’s under control; you’re easily putting one foot in front of the other?
Do you ever feel like you’re walking on an uneven path—sometimes you’re on stable ground, but other times you could make just one tiny misstep and fall?
Do you ever feel like you’re standing on quicksand—at any moment you could be sucked in, knowing that the more you struggle the worse you’ll make it?

I understand all three of those:
the times I’m on steady ground—I’m a-okay, life is sunshine and roses; everything’s under control
the times I’m not sure what lies ahead—what’s right in front of me could be awesome or awful
the times I feel like I’m getting sucked under—afraid that I may never get out of the quicksand

Sometimes, when I’m in that “life quicksand”, I forget that the more I struggle the more I get stuck.

In the quicksand days of our lives;
when we don’t know if we have the courage to simply lie back and wait for things to normalize,
when we don’t know if we have the strength to move forward,
when we consider just staying “stuck”,
when we contemplate holding onto a giant weight and sinking,
doubt is creeping in, fear is becoming part of the language, and hope seems to be running right out of the door.

In that space, we forget who we really are. We forget that (for most of us) life brings great happiness but also great sorrow. We forget that: the exciting dances with the mundane; that blessings walk alongside sorrow; that hope can live in the same house as despair; that even in the darkest night we are loved; that God is in this with us; that even when it seems like a high tide is sweeping in while we’re stuck in the quicksand, that we are worth surviving.

I know people who, by their own admission, have had mostly joy-filled lives. Of course, they’ve known loss and suffering, but they’ve generally experienced great happiness. And, I know people who have had much more than their share of pain and heartache. I don’t have an answer to the “why me?” that I’m often asked. I sometimes don’t even have the words to make it better, and for that, I continue to pray.
It can be hard to find hope in the dark; when the quicksand of life seems like it’s all around us. It takes perseverance. It takes courage. And, it takes faith.
May this week bring you joy, may it bring you a reprieve from your biggest challenges and, may it open the door to light and safety and a fervent knowing that you are already wonderful; that you are amazing right where you are.

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➀ Real quicksand—a sand and water mixture that looks solid but behaves like a liquid when disturbed—doesn’t pull you under. You’re less dense than it, so you only sink if you struggle (liquefying the quicksand) or you’re holding something really heavy. The biggest danger comes if you’re stuck and then a high tide sweeps in.  One study showed that just to get one foot unstuck would require “a force of 100,000 newtons” (about the same as lifting a medium-size car). I don’t think I could do that! Another article I read said to get out you “just lie on your back and pull yourself to safety.” You’d “float” better in quicksand than water because it’s twice as heavy as water. Okay, don’t think I’d be able to do that either!


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