In his book, The Art of Forgiving, Lewis Smedes makes a statement that has stayed with me. He says, “We will always be mucking our way through grace.” The word, “mucking” means filthy with mud. What he means is that in the context of forgiving, we will never have a smooth ride. The road to forgiving is bumpy and filthy; we do not always succeed; sometimes we fail. But that is the way it is because the way through grace is muddy. It’s never clean or easy.
Not too long ago someone told me that her pastor whom she highly respected was forced to step down. He fell from grace. When she and her husband heard the news, they just broke down in tears. It was then that I remembered the words of Lewis Smedes, “We will
always be mucking our way through grace.” The road to Calvary is dry and dusty, and the road to grace is wet and muddy.
We aren’t perfect; we make mistakes; sometimes small, sometimes big. We do not always succeed in living the life that God wants us to live. It is when we fail that we remember that the road to grace is filthy and muddy. It is there His hand reaches down and pulls us up from the mud. But, instead of removing us from the muddy road, He'll simply walk along. The grace of God walks with us not only on clean road but also—and primarily—on filthy and muddy road.
We are not perfect, and cannot be perfect, but we can repent. Time and again God brings to my path fellow ministers who just fell from grace. It is there, while we talk, with tears streaming down, that these servants of Christ repent of their sins. They ask forgiveness, not only from God but also from their spouses. We, who week after week dispense God’s forgiveness to our flocks, also need forgiving and repenting. No exception, we all fall, and we all need forgiving and repenting; we will always be mucking our way to Heaven.