Monday, April 28, 2014


Most of us have been “in the pits” at one time or another—figuratively, literally, emotionally,    spiritually, circumstantially, financially, healthwise—you name it. Perhaps you are in a pit now....

There are many kinds of pits.I'm not referring to the pit as the grave or death, as the term is often used in the Old Testament. Nor to the bottomless pit of Revelation in the prophetic last days.  In its basic meaning a pit is a natural or artificial hole or cavity in the ground. 

But among the uses of the word, it also refers to an excavation for the removal of mineral deposits as in pit mining, to an orchestra pit in a theater, a sunken pit in a garage floor from which mechanics may work on cars, a pit or stone in certain fruits, and a pit stop beside an auto racecourse where cars are refueled and serviced during a race. 
File:Alonso Renault Pitstop Chinese GP 2008.jpg Well, we're getting close to what I want to talk about. 

As a slang term, “the pits” refers to the worst of some situation. There are ordinary, run-of-the-mill pits or little potholes in our lives like negative, adverse circumstances. But we know we are experiencing a worst case scenario when we seem to hit bottom with a thud. Some pits are miserable or depressing situations that seem to go on and on without relief.

Scripture is full of pit references. It describes life in the pit as “empty with no water,” “dark and deep” “full of terror,” a place where you have “no strength,” where “God's face seems hidden,” where “serpents bite you,” where you “feel desolate” and "forgotten." In some of our life pits we experience all of the above.

How does the Bible say we get into our pits? Sometimes we dig our own pits. At other times we find ourselves in a pit through no fault of our own. Sometimes people set a trap and we fall into a pit. Someone may leave a pit open by accident. Sometimes we are blind and are led by other blind men and both of us fall into the pit. Pits are a part of life in a fallen world among fallen mankind.

In the story of Job we feel so sorry for him because he was in one traumatic pit after another and he was not to blame. Young Gideon was in a personal pit and his nation too was in a pit of international proportions. Total defeat was near. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and addressed him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior,” Gideon replied (paraphrased) “Yeah, right! Oh my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? Where are all His miracles...the Lord has abandoned us....” And the Lord said to him, “Go in this your strength...have I not sent you?...Surely I shall be with you, and you shall defeat [your enemy].” And it was so.

King David seemed to be constantly complaining to the Lord about his pit experiences in the Psalms, and the Lord was continually rescuing him and lifting him high upon a Rock. He could shout time and again, "He has redeemed my life from the pit and crowned me with lovingkindness and tender mercies" (Psalm 103:4).

In the Genesis story, Joseph's brothers threw him into a pit. It was all part of God's big plan but Joe didn't know it. Even after he was rescued, he was not done with the pits. There was one pit after another later including prison pit experiences.We are not told how long Joe's pit sentence was, how long he was in the pit before his encounter with the other two prisoners who were released. But it was long enough to be appointed chief warden in charge of all the other prisoners. It is recorded that he stayed in his pit for two more years after the baker and the cupbearer were released. To all appearances it looked as if he was forgotten and abandoned. 

But Joe put a positive spin on it while doing his pit time. God was working on him during his “pit stop,” refueling him with wisdom, toughening him, and preparing him for the most influential position in Egypt in the kingdom of Pharaoh. God honored his attitude and good behavior in the pit and in the fulness of time, God brought him out.

Granted, in race car competition the pit stops are voluntary and necessary. In our lives they may be necessary to prepare us for something God has for us in the future. But for whatever reasons we find ourselves in a pit, let's not fret about it. Let's pit mine gold from our situation. Let's consider it "All Good."
Easy to say in hindsight, but pit life is not fun and games. We are prone to discouragement, depression, and disillusionment and "for the time it seems grievous."

Nevertheless, a pit is not meant to camp in or build a permanent residence. The sun is shining brightly above the pit if you look up. Some people do stay in their pit longer than necessary because they wallow in self pity. They allow the enemy to steal, kill and destroy what is rightfully theirs in Christ. God is not abandoning us in the pit. When we cry unto Him for help, He always answers.

“I called on Your name, O Lord, out of the lowest pit. You have heard my voice. Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief, from my cry for help. You drew near when I called on You; You said, 'Do not fear!'” (Lamentations 3:55-57)

The Lord provides a way to lift us up out of our muck in His time and in His way. He may throw us a rope or drop us a ladder to climb out or send a divine helicopter of His choice to rescue us. Whatever it takes He will deliver us because of His love for us.

Our response to our circumstances, our behavior while we are in our pit, is the key to getting out. The Lord may be waiting to see if we trust Him and if He can trust us to rejoice while in the pit because His presence is always there with us. We can look for ways to serve God or witness for Him while in our pit—show God our true colors. Like Joseph we can decide to be a blessing to someone else who is in a pit too. God will give us "a good reference" when His “due time” comes for us! 

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