Stop And Listen For God’s Voice In Your Pain
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. Psalm 40:2
When you are in a pit, and it is so dark that the only time rays of sunlight filter into your prison is at high noon, you don’t play games with God. You don’t tell him what a nice person you are, or how much you have done for His cause. You go one-on-one with God, pleading your case, asking Him to intervene for you.
Today—at least in most civilized countries of the world—we no longer take people and place them in pits, but in ancient days, it was done. You may remember the Old Testament story of Joseph who angered his brothers, who then cast him into a pit and later sold him into slavery. Old Jeremiah was cast into a slime pit when his prophecies angered the king (See Jeremiah 38). Go to the remains of the House of Caiaphas, the high priest who condemned Jesus, and at St. Peter’s in Gallicantu, as it is now known, you will see a kind of pit, a hollowed out limestone cavern where Jesus was kept while the council of the Sanhedrin was summoned.
The pits that we often find ourselves in today are more psychological—depression, anger, inadequacy, worry, addiction—something that you just can’t break out of, something that keeps you in darkness, something which you feel has swallowed you and from which you will never escape. Have I said anything in the last minute that strikes a responsive chord in your life?
I am thinking of some of the messages which come to our office from people just like you—people with education and culture, people who married with the greatest hopes but now live with the most desperate fears, people who believe that God at one time did answer their prayers but now wonder where He is and why He doesn’t deliver them.
Whether or not David was actually in a pit is uncertain, but he talked about pits more than any other Bible character. Emotionally and spiritually, he was “in the pits” more than a few times. For example, consider these words—all of which came from the lips of David:
- Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me, Psalm 35:7
- 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. Psalm 40:2
- They spread a net for my feet–I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path–but they have fallen into it themselves. Psalm 57:6
- “I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength” (Psalms 88:4, KJV).
- You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. Psalm 88:6
Sometimes David blamed God for the circumstances which put him into a pit, something which we often do today; but always David credited God with being the one who gave him deliverance from the pit. God is still the deliverer who can take us from the pit and put our feet on solid rock.
Question: Would you admit to needing help in getting out of the pit? You’ve tried and tried and failed. Why not ask His help? There’s no need to strike a bargain with God, or to say politely, “Look, if you do this for me, here’s what I’ll do for you.” Just tell Him what your need is and then trust Him completely. The man or woman who has been delivered from the darkness of the pit has been through a life-changing experience. You’ll never, ever be the same. It is like the fire that burns out the dross. It purifies you and refines you and lets you know God’s hand reaches deeper than your pit. And, the lessons you learn in the pit will stay with you the rest of your life.
Resource reading: Jeremiah 38