Pit of Despair

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
      and he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
      out of the mud and the mire.
   He set my feet on solid ground
      and steadied me as I walked along.
Psalms 40: 1-2

Reflect on this etire chapter in Psalms.  How many times have you found yourself in a pit?  It seems like the more you try to climb out, the more you slip on the mud and rocks and find yourself weary.  Why do you think that is?

If you’re trying to get out of the pit by yourself, you’re not only going to find yourself overly exhausted, but you’re going to find yourself still sitting right in the middle of that pit.  You’ve accomplished nothing by trying to get out on your own.  This scripture says to wait patiently for the Lord, and he will lift you out of the pit.

When I was young the drama of Baby Jessica was plastered on every tv station and every newspaper in Texas.  Jessica was 18 months old and somehow walked right over an abandoned water well and fell close to 20 feet inside of it.  The opening of the well was only about 8 inches wide, so the rescue team was unable to just go down and get her, and 20 feet was an impossible climb for an 18 month old (or any adult for that matter).  It was impossible for Jessica to save herself from that situation.  She had to utilize the many rescuers working hard to get her out.  Had she refused that help, she literally would have died in that well.

When you find yourself in a pit of dispair and can’t seem to find your way out, think about this toddler.  First, wait patiently for the Lord because he wants to help you out of that pit.  It may take longer than you would like, but he’s coming.  Exodus 14:14 says The Lord himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm.  Some translations say “you need only to be still.”  Let him reach in and pull you out.  Don’t fight him as he does this.  Just be still and allow him to do the work he came to do.

Sometimes you may think you know the best way out, but you’re only digging a deeper hole.  God knows that what seems like the obvious way out might really be more harmful.  It may take him coming in from another side to save you from your despair.  Unfortunately, that sometimes means things have to get a little bit worse before getting better, but he is in control and will get you out.

Baby Jessica fell deeper into the well as rescuers were drilling a hole nearby.  It seemed like it was making things worse, but these guys were experts and knew exactly what they were doing.  They knew they couldn’t get her out by reaching into the well and lifting her out.  They had to dig a hole nearby and come in from below, and after more than 2 days in that well, they pulled Jessica out of her literal pit of despair.

Let God meet you where you are in your pit.  Remember the more you fight and the more you attempt to do it on your own, the more damaged you will find yourself.  Wait patiently and allow him to come in from a different angle and pull you out with as little damage as possible.


Baby Jessica information from http://www.caver.net/j/jrescue.html

9 thoughts on “Pit of Despair

    1. Thank you, Paula. I was asked how I thought of this story to use, and honestly it was all God. I had forgotten all about this, and I went back to newspaper articles and relived it. I remember watching it on tv as a young girl. Now that I’m a mom it means something completely different. I really love how well it mirrors what God does for us.


  1. we used to sing a song from that verse that had “and i will sing…sing a new song…how long? to sing this song. how long? to sing this song” such a reminder that every pit in our lives doesn’t last that long, in comparison, and even at that, we have a future of glory ahead of us!


    1. I have to laugh because I remember singing this song in college, and I couldn’t help but to laugh every time. I never paid attention to the words. I just kept saying “How long is this song” over and over. And then I would sing something about how this song is way too long. Yeah that was definitely the non-ministerial part of me. You are exactly right, though. They may seem long, but they go by quickly if we let God do his work.


  2. Misty, thank you for referring me to this post, it sure is similar to my recent experience. It feels like a pit where I cannot get out. I have tried to get out myself, using my own strength, but I have been forced to let go, because I simply can’t. I have felt a slight relief after praying for peace, so I believe it worked this time. Thank you.


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