Monday, December 30, 2013

OUT OF THE PIT by Gary Wilkerson

When I was a teenager, I spent my summers helping out on a ranch in East Texas. The ranch manager, Jimmie, was a big, strapping guy who had limited eyesight but knew how to do all sorts of things. He taught me how to mow and haul hay, for instance.

One day we were shoveling dirt into a six-feet-deep hole for a well. During a water break, Jimmie misjudged where the hole was and stepped toward it. My mouth was too full of water to warn him—and he dropped in! I was afraid he might have broken a limb from the deep drop and I instantly scrambled to help. But when I looked up, Jimmie was casually climbing out of the hole as if nothing had happened.

That was Jimmie’s life. He was a guy with several pits in front of him daily because not only was he losing his eyesight, he was also losing his hearing. Yet Jimmie climbed out of every pit he fell into and kept moving ahead. To me, he is an example of faith for everyone in Christ’s body. We all have pits we fall into—that’s just life—but God’s Word shows us that as Christians we are to face our pits through eyes of faith.

Maybe you are stuck in a pit right now. It could be a difficult relationship, a financial hole, an illness—something you’ve been caught in for a while—and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to climb out. Your once close walk with Christ seems like a distant dream. But God has something powerful to say to you about your present pit.

One type of pit is the kind we create for ourselves. We may fall back into an old sin habit or unhealthy life pattern that keeps us going in circles. We find ourselves drifting, wandering, moving farther away from the abundant life God has provided. But it does not matter what kind of pit we are in. Our merciful Lord makes a way for us out of every one of them.

“Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?” (Matthew 12:11, ESV). Jesus says, “It doesn’t matter if you created your pit. Even the law won’t stop Me from coming to lift you out of it.”