Have you ever been in the bottom of a hole? Has life ever dealt you so many blows that you felt like you were trapped in a deep, dark hole with no way out? I have and I know this is a feeling that many of us have felt before. One day you’re striding along minding your own business when what seems out of nowhere a hole opens up in your path and down you tumble. Trying to gain an understanding of what just happened, you realize you are indeed trapped. Feeling along the walls, there are no holds to help you get out of here. And that’s the exact moment that fear settles in.
Fear is absolutely debilitating. It blocks your way. Now the mind races to times in the past that may have been like this and almost instantly, old tapes are racing through your brain, trying ever so hard to convince you that there is no way out. Remember the last time this happened? Do you remember what the family all said? No one was understanding of this and no one was willing to help you. You could replace the word family with many: co-workers, friends, lovers, and so on. It sometimes feels like you’re the only one on an otherwise unpopulated island, surrounded by hounds baying in the distance and they too are closing in.
I’ve lived here so many times in the past it almost sickens me to remember. What I’ve come to learn with the passing of years is that those times were absolutely a lie! There were ways out, I just couldn’t see them. Instead, my memories and recollections played tricks on me, intending to lock me into the rhythms of past thoughts.
Perhaps there’s another explanation. There is the one, the enemy of our souls, who intends for you to get locked up with past failures. I see him in my minds eye as a ninja of sorts, tossing wicked stars of destruction, one after another after another, so fast I am not able to keep up with their coming at me. It’s the sheer rapidity of their flying at me that disarms any sense of hope; I’m too busy dodging and defending myself from their slashing edges to even dare to think I can win this battle. It, in effect, becomes a battle for my very life.
The enemy of our souls wants to throw so many lies and untruths at us that we get caught up in trying to reason our way through. It is then that the hole closes in around us and our resolve gets injured, sometimes beyond hope. Yes, falling into the abyss of our minds can be a frightening place.
It is right there, that last attempt to somehow get out of the hole, that our emotions completely overpower us. I can’t, I won’t be able to, I’m never going to amount to anything, I’ve done it again. That unbelievable place we find ourselves in when we thought we were making progress and instead, we find ourselves here in the bottom of the pit. When this happens enough times, we may actually despair and want to give up.
But wait. There is one more thing to do. Look up! From the bottom of the pit it appears a long way up there, but I do see blue skies. How do I get there? This is the moment, the time when you cry out to Jesus. Of course! Why didn’t I think of this before? It’s hard to cry out to Jesus when you’re so very busy defending your moves, or trying to claw your way back up. Sit back down and ask Him to help you recall a song of worship. Sing to Jesus. I’m convinced that the melodic sounds of our song drift up to His waiting ears. He’s been there all along, wondering how long it might take us to reach out to Him. Due to the nature of our relationship with Him, He waits until we call and it is all He’s been waiting to hear. How do we know this? Because the Word shows us the way:
“While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him.” Hebrews 5:7 (MSG)
Jesus Himself shows us the way. Look up dear one. The pit is dark and its sides are steep but there is always a way out. Look up! Ah yes, He’s there waiting. Cry out! When we honor God, He will answer.