Always best to land feetfirst when jumping into mudholes

Two good ol’ boys in need of work landed a job replacing shingles on a farmer’s barn roof when a gust of wind blew their aluminum ladder down.

With no one else around, they began looking for some other way to get off the roof. On one end of the barn, there was a mudhole but no way to know how deep it was.

After much debate, one of the fellows decided the mud might provide a soft landing, so he jumped while his reluctant friend looked for another way down.

A minute later, the fellow yelled back to his friend on the roof. “It’s OK. The mud is only ankle deep.”

So the second fellow jumped. But he sunk up to his neck. As he waded out, he fussed at his friend: “I thought you said it was only ankle deep.”

“Well, it is if you land head first like I did,” came the reply.

Jesus once used mud to change a man’s life. You may remember the passage from the Gospel of John when Jesus encountered a young man who had been blind since birth. The disciples asked Jesus who had sinned, the young man or his parents, that caused him to be blind. Jesus told the disciples that the young man’s blindness was an opportunity for God to be glorified.

“When Jesus had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (John 9:7).

I love reading about the miracles of Christ. He did such amazing things. Unexpected things. Take for example, the young man who had been blind since birth. In the day in which he lived, he was totally dependent on the goodwill of others to survive. He couldn’t perform most jobs available in New Testament times.  What Jesus did for the young man truly changed his life.

The mud those good ol’ boys jumped into that day did nothing more than make for an easier landing. But the mud Jesus applied to the young man’s eyes made for an easier life for a man who had faced his share of difficulties.

Jesus has always been there for people in difficult circumstances. Whether we’re stuck on a barn roof with no place to go but down, or whether we’re dealing with life’s ups and downs, Jesus is our deliverer.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at