Imagine someone standing at the edge of the cistern/pit where the prophet Jeremiah found himself one day (Jer.38) and yelling “Just be patient dude, God’s got this!” If I’m Jeremiah, I’m thinking “quit wasting time trying to verbally comfort me and go get a rope or something to get me out of here!” It doesn’t say how long he was in that pit, but can you imagine what went through his mind? “Why me?” seems like a plausible thought. I mean, this ‘dude’ had sold out to God and had a message to deliver, a task to complete. How and why did he end up in a hole in the ground, sinking into a muddy mess?
Ever been there? Maybe like Jeremiah, you found yourself there by the hands of another. It could be that the pit has been there all your life and you are in and out of it all the time. Maybe it’s even become a hideout, a safe place, even though it’s dark and lonely. Whatever the case, that place…the pit…is not a healthy place for you…or me.
I have a pit. It’s lonely there. I find that I end up in my pit frequently. Sometimes it’s by the hands of others, but mostly I fall in because I’m not paying attention to where I’m going. You know, just walking through life, minding my own business and all of a sudden something triggers an explosion in my brain. I’m serious. Something goes really bad wrong, and the fallout is treacherous. (If you know me very well, you’re probably not surprised to hear this.) I immediately start walking in self-pity (pity minus the ‘y’ is pit). Unhealthy thoughts begin reeling in my head giving my emotions the ‘go ahead’ to wreak havoc. And…it’s done. I’m there, deep in the pit. (Just a side note: Feelings are real and they need to be felt. I mean, I don’t know about the issues that cause you pain, but mine have caused me to hurt deeply. So there’s validity to why I sometimes fall into my pit. And while I’m there, it helps to NOT hear empty words coming from above me. Unless, of course, there’s a rope on its way down:)
We just cannot stay there. Even when it feels hopeless, we must remember that “feelings aren’t facts”. Jeremiah was a major prophet with an assignment from Almighty God. He had to believe that the pit wasn’t where he belonged. It wasn’t the end for him, just a temporary setback. At some point, 30 men or so, showed up with a make-shift rope (old garments from the king’s closet tied together), and Jeremiah got out of that pit!
And so it is for me and you. The ’pit’ is a place we all find ourselves, but it’s not where we belong. You may be in so deep that no one can see you. It may be that no one comes along with a rope to pull you out, or even say ‘non-comforting’ words. Just stop. Take a minute. Breathe. Try to recognize what caused that explosion in your brain and got you off track and in a dark, lonely pit. Take it captive in your mind and treat it like the pointless, trash it is. Then do this:
“Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail). Psalm 55:22 AMP
“Casting the whole of your care [anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” I Peter 5:7 AMP
‘Shalak’ is the Hebrew word translated ‘cast’. It literally means to ‘hurl’ or fling’! So hurl that mess out of the pit and see what God will do! He will take the burden and He will get you out! (pithy clichés not included!)