Last week, I mentioned that I am reading Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore.
Amazingly enough, I’ve actually been able to get another chapter read.. woo hoo!
Chapter 2- When You’re Thrown Into A Pit
I’m looking at the reflection questions in the back of the book. The book began talking about when we are in pits… basically because we got ourselves there one way or another. This chapter is about being thrown into a “pit of innocence.”
This is a tough subject to me because I have heard it asked and wondered myself “where was Jesus when this was happening?” I have heard that asked by the victim of child abuse… by the mother who lost her child… by the children whose parents are fighting and threatening or carrying through with divorce… by the friend on the mission field facing suffering head on.. and so many others. Where is Jesus now?
There’s a quotation at the end of the chapter:
Beloved, let this one sink in deeply: if God allowed you to be thrown into a pit, you weren’t pick on; you were picked out. God entrusted that suffering to you because He has faith in you. Live up to it. All the way up.
At first I read this and think… seriously… God entrusted me with suffering… that’s just sick… but the reality is.. we live in a fallen world and suffering is inevitable. The effects of sin are all around us. We cannot escape it. We could live under a rock and never venture out. We could try to do everything right… but sin will not be escaped. My uncle never smoked. He has taken great care of himself his whole life.. and now… he has lung cancer… what? Sin has effected everything.
Also a point addressed in this chapter is basically the idea that God doesn’t waste experiences. He uses our experiences to shape and mold us… hopefully for the good. My husband grew up in a children’s home. His family was not necessarily what one dreams for… he could be bitter… he could be mad… but he has chosen to see where God’s hand was at work even in his early childhood to make him the man he is today. Now.. he works with families and does in home counseling. He is able to relate to these families in a way that others can’t. He has been there.
Beth Moore talks about how her husband’s early experience of losing a sibling has shaped him into the man he is today. She says to him, “you’re a much neater person healed than you would have been well.”
Well put… we would be different people without the bumps and bruises. We would, in my opinion, most likely be less effective people.
Before I started going to Haiti on mission trips, I could tell you why I thought missions was important. I could tell you why I thought it was a Biblical mandate. But.. . it wasn’t until I had my heart broken by the poverty, suffering and spiritual darkness first hand that I could really express myself. I had the bumps and bruises of the trips I went on. I held the hand of the sick. I rejoiced and laughed alongside teachers who had nothing in their classrooms. I prayed for children on their deathbeds. I saw those who were thrown into pits first hand and I realized that yes it sucks… but Jesus had not abandoned them… there was still hope.
One of the questions in the book:
Sometimes we start out in a pit of innocence, but later find ourselves in a pit of sin. What is the potential sin of a person who has been thrown into a pit?
Unforgiveness. Funny thing… spell check isn’t recognizing unforgiveness as a word. It’s recognizes forgiveness. Unforgiveness can give way to bitterness and resentment. Rather than hurting the one who caused the sin in the first place… it can end up destroying the one who was sinned against to begin with.
Forgiveness is a tool given to us by the Lord to bring about healing. It is a powerful thing. I have a friend whose brother was killed by a drunk driver. His mother was a wreck. She held to that bitterness and anger for so long. But she finally made the decision to forgive. When the day of the trial came for the driver.. she said she wanted nothing more than to hug and hold the man responsible for her son’s death and let him know that he was loved and forgiven.
Knowing God is sovereign is a powerful tool. Knowing that God is just and more broken hearted over sin and suffering than we are is amazing. Knowing that he actually has the power to make it right is unbelievable!
Holding God ultimately responsible in the healthy way His word suggests will be our ticket out of a pit.
Take an example from Joseph in the Bible:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.- Genesis 50:20