I was in the pits.
If you google "what does the pits mean" you will find answers like this:
*a place of pain and turmoil
*a term used to describe a situation that can't get any worse
*the worst of all possible situations
After a while I was all alright Laura, it's time to pick yourself up and get out of this pit and then I proceeded to try and get myself out of the pit. But that's not how it works.
Psalm 40:2 says, "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."
You see, it's not ME who needs to lift myself out of the pit... it's HIM. God lifts me out. He doesn't sit at the top yelling "Hey! You! Climb out of there!"
So when I'm at the bottom of a pit, when it feels like I'm in a horrible situation that couldn't possibly be worse, when I'm in that place of pain and turmoil... I need to be like the little girl from my mission trip to Costa Rica eight years ago... I've shared the story on here before but it's worth sharing again...
We were playing with a bunch of kids in a real dump of a neighborhood. It was smelly and dirty and those kids were awesome! We didn't speak the same language but we understood each other. Two guys that were on the mission team were letting loads of kids chase them around, finally catch them and then all the kids would dog pile on top. They did this over and over and over and over. Until one time I heard a scream from the bottom of the pile. Someone needed help. I ran over and started lifting kids off one at a time until I found a little girl who had been smooshed at the bottom of the pile and was scared. I picked her up, took her to a safe place and then held her until she was confident enough to join the pack and run again.
You guys! THAT'S GOD!! That's what he does with us!
Let's go back to Psalm 40 again and read some more of it...
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 our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. (Psalm 40:1-3)
When you are in a pit stop and cry out to God. He will come to your aid, lift you out of the pit and put a new song in your mouth!
I know that makes it sounds simple... and I'm not saying that getting out of the pit means that everything is all of a sudden sparkly and shiny and awesomely perfect. But God doesn't want us stuck down at the bottom of the pit any more than we want to be there. No... he wants us to recognize that we need him, that he is our answer, our strength, our ever present help in time of need.
Basically there is a little formula running through my head...
In a pit and want out? Admit your need and cry out to God.
As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.
When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.