Oh, those pitfall days.
Where the hurt feelings sneak up.
Where the painful memories of yesterday push into an afternoon, an evening.. a heart.
One new twinge of hurt is sometimes all it takes to lose any ground gained, and to rob us of any distance placed between ourselves and the pit.
The Pain Pit.
And back to the edge- the one we thought was in our past – but where we suddenly find ourselves dangling.
Good on the one hand – as in when we are able to feel empathy and love for others, to know their needs or our own and we are driven towards prayer and hope.
But then on the other hand – feelings can sometimes supplant faith, shift our focus from God, nudge us to recall old hurts and turn from our forward path to spill us right downhill, towards the pit.
And that edge is hard to grip and that pit is dark and deep.
And yes, I have been there – more often and more recently than I plan to admit right now.
To justify this trip to the edge of the pit, I can begin to think “darn it, I have a RIGHT to feel this pain! I have been hurt ..just now, and way back when..”
Painful memories — feelings — emotions — pain.
hanging on by fingernails
on the edge of a sheer cliff wall
above the pit
and the ground is giving way.
And I know that when I (perhaps you, too?) am at my lowest and my hands are full of the shifting sharp gravel of pain – the call to reach for My Living Hope, can seem an overwhelming and unfair demand.
And kinda impossible – my hands are awfully full of “edge”..
There are other memories we can allow in, as we dangle over darkness.
We can remember that we are fully, wholly, unconditionally loved..
**suddenly your hand clutches something on the edge that wasn’t there a moment ago, something secure**
We can remember we have a God who fights our battles, and gives us victory..
**your feet, moments before dangling and kicking at the slick wall above the pit, are now lodged into firm footholds**
We can remember that proving we have the “right” rarely makes us feel right but the righteousness of grace and forgiveness ALWAYS does..
**Is that.. was that.. a safety harness you just felt at your waist!? Surely it wasn’t there a moment ago?**
We can remember that the enemy is tricky and, that he loves the darkness of pain as he uses it to push us close..too close.. to the edge of the deepest of pits and we remember prayer.
Prayer brings light.
Light diffuses darkness.
And not knowing what else to say (we are hanging off a cliff after all, eloquence is not always an option) we can remember to cry “Jesus, please..”
**And the safety harness tightens, and we are ascending, away ..up..out..the pit getting smaller, further**
As we land on solid ground, we can just reach out again.
He will find your hand.
Or rather, you will find His.
So how do I, how do we, stay away from the pit in the first place?
We have to retrace our steps on this one, friends.
We were on a path, far from our old pain, heading away from the pit, right?
Just walking when suddenly..a rock is thrown into your back (ouch!).
And we turn around, changing direction. We didn’t mean to but someone threw a rock!
Oh, see? This rock..
We pick it up.
We walk further back down the trail, focusing, remembering ..lost in picking up all the rocks that had ever been thrown at us before.
One, two, twenty..
hands full, weighted down.
Suddenly slipping down to an edge..
So, here it is..
I want to learn to immediately throw that rock (the new one, the one that threatens to get me all turned around) into His hands and outta mine!
He is waiting to take it, its not mine to carry.
I want to put it into His hands and keep walking my path, the one He marked for me.
And this leaves my hands empty.
And empty hands are likely perfect for filling with the promises I will find along the path heading in the right direction. And I assume, empty hands are useful in allowing me to hold tightly to the One Who Knows Perfectly how to walk the path that leads away from the Pain Pit.
Ascending From an Edge and Authentically Yours,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)