O. My. Lanta. Who ticked off winter? Seriously! Is it my imagination or does every winter last longer than the previous? With all this cold, gray, snow, and general “winterness” that is Michigan, I’ve found that a lot of Michiganders are running a little low on energy and motivation reserves. O yes, while digging out of the piles of snow, we may have dug ourselves into a little bit of a rather good-sized pit. O dear. What’s a girl to do?
Why does God give us these valleys anyways? Doesn’t He love us? As a woman who has been in a pit before, and will likely face a pit again; I can honestly say, I have done some of my deepest growing in those pits. Job who had known the very bottom of the deepest and darkest pits said, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” When we find ourselves in the less than five-star accommodations of “The Pit,” we must trust God.
What’s great about our God is that He has a plan to help us out of the pit even if the pit is one of our own making. We’ve all heard the saying, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it,” but the truth of the matter is you don’t have to. Who said you can’t remake that bed? You can choose to accept God’s grace. How many of us have been in a pit, are trying to climb out, we think we are making progress, and the next thing we know we are smack on our back at the bottom of the pit. Again. If you are here, don’t despair, help is on the way, you just have to be willing to receive it.
Pits are a very real part of life, there are many people in the Bible who went through their own pits, from Ruth, David, Solomon, and Joseph (Joseph was very PHYSICALLY placed in a pit!), great men and women of God ended up in pits, so I guess it’s ok if we find ourselves in a pit at some point in time. Some of us may be pushed into pits like Joseph was, others maybe just didn’t see the hole and tripped and fell, while the rest maybe thought they could jump over it and landed just shy of the other side – no matter how you ended up in the pit, there are lessons to be learned, so stay alert and don’t get too comfortable – you don’t want to miss your rescue!
Read: Genesis 37:12-36
Consider: We’ve already established that a pit can come in many various forms and circumstances, so I’d like to share with you what to watch out for if and when you find yourself in a pit, because it’s dark and dirty and when a body feels overwhelmed, we tend to not do anything at all – just curl up and give up. Instead, let’s arm ourselves for those pits so they won’t even know what’s coming when we land in them!
While in a pit you may have to endure: Mean Words. Words like, “You got what you deserved,” and “You’ll never be good enough.” I think many of us have been discouraged and have had our “friends” tell us exactly what is wrong with us and our faith walk, but because they didn’t season their words with kindness and sincerity, those words wounded instead of healed. 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Proverbs 16:24 also says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” When in a pit and hearing mean words, consider the source. Is what the person is saying helpful to you and helping you to grow in the darkness? If not, this is an attack from the Devil and you need to tune out!
Another thing to watch out for when in a pit is: Loneliness. Though I have never literally been placed in a pit in the ground, I have felt empty and all alone before; like loneliness was my only friend. But that isn’t true! It is at these times that our faith can grow the most. Proverbs 18:24b reminds us that we have a friend who sticks closer than a brother! Hebrews 13:5 also promises that God will never leave us or forsake us. When in a pit, realize that you are not alone. It is highly likely that there are others in the pit with you, but because it is dark you may not be able to see them, that is why you must look outside of your comfort zone (yourself) and reach out and help others – I promise you that your loneliness will recede.
Watch out! Here comes temptation. When in a pit look out for temptation, temptation in any way, shape, or form, is especially easy to give into when you feel like you have hit rock bottom and nothing could “possibly get any worse.” You will soon find out that there is always a deeper pit you can dig yourself into. Check out 1 Corinthians 10:13 to see what God’s Word says about temptation. Resist temptation, don’t settle for an “easy” fix because duct tape does not fix everything – only Jesus can.
Lastly, when I am in a pit the scariest thought for me is being forgotten. While wallowing in a pit it is easy to feel forgotten, questions like “Why?” often go unanswered, making us feel like no one cares or even remembers us. It is easy to forget what Psalm 139 says about never being forgotten (Check this chapter out! You will NOT be disappointed!). When in a pit, look out and look UP. The God who made each star and calls them by name, surely knows YOU. You are not forgotten.
A quick reminder: When in the pits don’t just claim the promises of God – cling to them! You will soon realize that you are clinging to a rope that is quite literally lifting you out of your pit so hold on tight! Psalm 40:2, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”
To-Do: What lessons have you learned while in a pit? How do you choose to help others when you see them struggling?