Monday, April 27, 2015

3 things I've learned from being in the bottom of a pit

I've spent a lot of time in the bottom of a pit.

Life is full of pits, and we all know what it's like to be in one. The ones I fall into vary in size, appearance, and allure. But they all stink, they're all dark, and they all try to keep me in.  

You're married and find yourself with a crush on a co-worker, you're a Christian and find yourself doubting God's very existence, 
you are single and find yourself loving someone who will never love you back, 
you're in debt up to your eyeballs,
you're addicted to something and don't think you'll ever be free, 
and on and on the "Types of Pits" list goes. 

 Since I've spent so much time in them, I've learned a few things about life in the bottom of a pit. 
Here are the big things I've learned:

1. I'm incapable of crawling out of a pit on my own. 
No matter how much I hate the pit, my own strength is never enough to get me out. It's only, only, only when I realize I just can't do it and I need some help that the journey out begins. The Master pit-getter-outer is the Lord Jesus Christ. His arms are so big and so strong and so unafraid of the filth of the pits. When I tell Him about the pit I've fallen into, get real honest with Him, and ask Him for help to get out of there, He starts helping me out. It's never an easy journey, and He usually asks me to make choices that are hard and feel terrible. But by making those choices, I let Him carry me out of the hole. When I give in and start listening to Him, out of the pit He carries me. 
(Usually included in the the hard-and-feel-terrible things He asks me to do is getting honest with a mature Christian about the pit, asking them for advice, and listening)

2. God cleans me up after carrying me out of the pit. 
Never ever ever has God shook His head in shame at me. Even when that pit was super dirty and I was in it for a long time, He doesn't leave the dirt on me so He can make me feel bad about myself. He washes the dirt right off and bear hugs me. No trace of the pit remains, except for the strength it gave me (see #3).
Know what else? He takes the time I wasted in the pit, the silly decisions I made while I was in there, and He makes something beautiful out of all of it. He can redeem anything. 

3. After God carries me out of the pit, I'm stronger and more alive than I've ever been before.
The more I understand how much I need God, the stronger I get. He phrased it like his, "My strength is made perfect in weakness," (2 Corinthians 12:9). It's during these times in pits that I learn to stop trying to conjure up my own strength and to just depend on His. That's when I really get strong. Watching Him carry me out of a pit makes my faith stronger, my love go deeper, and my heart become more alive. 

Are you in a pit right now? I'm sorry. But know that God wants to carry you out of there. He's strong enough to do it. Trust Him, listen to Him, and before long you'll look around and notice that you're in a quite beautiful place that isn't like a pit at all.