I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40: 1-3)
(Based on the book Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore)
I have the privilege of meeting with a wonderful group of believers on Monday nights. Together we have spent the past couple of months exploring the concepts in the above-mentioned book. They are so simple and yet so complex, I feel impressed to try to summarize some main points. I can by no means share the full impact in a blog, so if what I write tugs at your curiosity, by all means read the book!
Being a word person, let’s start with definitions. Before one could know anything about getting out of a pit, one would first need to identify what a pit is and how to tell if you’re in one. We’ll let that be the focus of this blog.
In the natural, a pit is a natural or artificial hole or cavity in the ground. If you fall into a pit, you will certainly struggle to get out. The bottom tends to be muddy and the sides steep – think abandoned well. In the spiritual sense, a pit is a state mind, not an actual place, but it is still muddy, the sides are steep, and you cannot get out without some help. Spiritual pits are unique in that they can go anywhere you go. A pit will fit in a multi-million dollar home or a back woods shack. It will fit in suburbia or the back seat of your broken down car. So how do you know if you’re in a pit? Pit dwellers tend to meet one or more of the following criteria.
You feel stuck. If you’ve ever stepped in mud so deep that it sucked your boot off when you tried to pick your foot up, you’ve got a good visual of “stuck.” When you are in a pit, you feel like you cannot move forward. You’re stuck in the same ole place and despite your best efforts; there is no getting yourself free.
You cannot stand up to your enemy. You might be pit dwelling if you’ve reached a point where you feel so defeated and overwhelmed by the constant barrage of life’s “issues”, that you have decided its no use trying to win. This is the way life is and it is never going to change.
You’ve lost your vision. If you are in a natural pit, there are no windows. The sides go straight up and the only two places to look are the sky and your feet. Most people look at their feet and for good reason. First of all, looking up can put a kink in your neck. More importantly, you are so busy trying to unstuck your feet from the mud and remain standing; you can’t really focus on much else.
Pit dwelling can become a regular way of life for many people, believers included. But it doesn’t have to be. There is a way out! But before we talk too much about how to get out, perhaps we should talk about how we got in the pit in the first place. Check back for the next post on the three ways one could get into a pit.