If you’ve ever been in the pit, I don’t have to tell you what it’s like. The sense of hopelessness or utter despair can be so powerful it’s easy to believe there’s no way out.
Whether it be from the pain of rejection, the sting of betrayal, loneliness in your marriage, the ache of an addiction, or even the loss of a job or dream, we can begin sinking down into a dark, slimy pit and before long we’re wondering if we’ll ever be able to crawl back out.
But no pit is impenetrable to a God who specializes in pulling people from the slimiest of pits.
Lynn remembers her experience in the pit, when all she was concerned about, day in and day out, was where she was going to get her next “fix.” Her drug addiction consumed her thoughts, dictated her actions, and became an end in itself.
But her destructive craving dried up the day it was replaced with a new desire. A strong desire. A desperate desire – for Jesus.
On her knees in her bedroom one Sunday night, Lynn cried out to God, surrendering to Him her life, her will, her desires.
“I got on my knees, looked up to God and said to Him ‘I am ready to surrender my life over to you. I can no longer live this life that I am seeking. Please, God, forgive me for all my sins and make my heart pure tonight.'”
God in Heaven heard her cry for help, pulled her out of her pit, and placed her on solid ground.
“I can’t express how much my life has changed since then,” Lynn says today. “I am much happier, more lovable to others around me, and so much stronger.”
The 35-year-old single mother can honestly say today that all she wants now is God – Him alone. Through her desire for change and her cry for mercy, God put a new song in her heart.
Maybe your pit is not drug addiction, but maybe it feels just as powerful. Maybe it’s a destructive relationship that is keeping you down, or a lifestyle that is keeping you from glorifying God, or repeated disappointments that seem unbearable. Most of the time those of us who struggle with feeling like we’re in the pit, already have a relationship with God, but we’re struggling to live victoriously. And we’re wondering, at times, if God cares to deliver us one more time.
David the Psalmist, had a close relationship with God. Yet he wrote many songs of crying out to God for deliverance – not only from physical struggles (like a king who sought to kill him) but from spiritual and emotional struggles as well.
Listen to David as he talked of his pit-deliverance in Psalm 40: 1-3:
“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
and put their trust in the LORD.”
I love how God’s response to David was simply that He “heard” David’s cry. We don’t read about God giving David a lecture for getting into his slimy pit in the first place. Nor do we read about certain conditions God laid out before pulling David out of the pit. God also didn’t require that David prove himself or at least prove that he was serious this time about really wanting out. We only read that after David waited for God and cried out for help, God heard him, lifted him out of the mud and mire, set his feet firmly on solid ground, and gave him a new song of praise.
We can learn three precious truths from David’s “pit-deliverance” song: 1) God hears the prayers of the desperate; 2) God is able and willing to lift us out of our pit if we’re willing to leave it; and 3) God can give us a new song out of our present suffering.
If God could rescue King David from his slimy pit and Lynn from her destructive addiction, He can certainly rescue you from whatever situation you need to be rescued. And not only can He pull you from the pit if you truly want to get out, He can give you a “new song” which, in David’s case, became his testimony that many saw and heard and began trusting the Lord as a result.
What is the slimy pit from which you need God to deliver you? An unhealthy habit? A strong addiction? A destructive mindset? An emotionally-damaging relationship? Those things are difficult to release when we still want to hold onto them tightly. But when we surrender our life, will and desires to God and ask Him to replace our destructive desires with a desperation for Himself, that is a prayer He hears and heeds.
The Bible assures us of the confidence we can have in praying a prayer like that:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15).
What is it that consumes your thoughts, dictates your actions and has become your purpose or god in life? If it’s not Christ – and Him alone – my prayer is that it soon will be. Here is a prayer I have often prayed when I’ve needed deliverance from my own pit. Use it as your prayer of reflection if you, too, want to desire Him alone:
O Lord, I can walk the depths of the pit alone or I can cry out to You for help and wait for You to deliver me. Why would I want to go it alone? Please take away my unhealthy desires and replace them with a wholesome desire for You alone. May my daily song be that of David’s: “You, LORD, are all I want! You are my choice, and you keep me safe. You make my life pleasant, and my future is bright” (Psalm 16:5-6, CEV)