In the Pits

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Have you ever been “in the pits?” Dan Woolley was in Haiti with his friend and co-worker David Hames when the earthquake hit a few weeks ago. Their work with Compassion International took them to Haiti to document the country’s poverty-stricken children. Standing only feet away from each other in the lobby of their hotel, the two became separated by the quake. Dan cried out for his friend but couldn’t locate him and eventually crawled to an elevator near others. With a badly injured leg and bleeding head, Dan waited and prayed realizing that his hope was in God. Strengthened by the sound of fellow Christians singing “Peace Like a River,” Dan called out the words from Psalm 40: 1-3,

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 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.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.

Dan knew that his future lay in God’s hands. After sixty-five hours in the rubble, in the pit, Dan received his miracle rescue. Sadly, his friend and brother in Christ, David Hames, has not been found.

King David wrote this Psalm to describe how God took him out of the pit and gave him new life. David’s pit was quite different from Dan’s.
David was in the pit of troubles from the bad choices and bad habits he’d developed.
He was in the pit of sin after sleeping with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed.
He was in the pit of threats and on the run from Saul, his countrymen, and the Philistines.
He was in the pit of jealous people who sneered at him and caused him to run away.

Whether we’re in the pit because of our own doings or because of circumstances over which we have no control, God is there ready to lift us out.

How did David get out of the pits? Psalm 40: 1-3 shows 6 ways God worked in his life.
1. He turned to me
2. He heard my cry
3. He lifted me out
4. He set my feet on the rock
5. He gave me a firm place to stand
6. He put a new song in my heart

He’ll do the same for us when we’re in the pits of life. He’ll turn to us and hear our cries. Then he’ll lift us out of the pit of sadness or depression or fear or worry or pride or any of the myriad of strongholds that keep us from him. Next he’ll set us on the solid rock of his Word and his love, surrounded by faithful followers. No longer living in muck and the mire, we have a new song in our hearts, a song of hope and praise.

We can get out of the pits!


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