Get Out of the Pit and Into the Refuge

I didn’t want to go. I had absolutely no desire to attend that conference at all. None. Not even the thought of reconnecting with a friend would induce me to want to travel for this conference. This friend would frequently end texts and emails with, “I’m looking forward to seeing you in January.”

My heart wanted to look forward to it as well. I wanted to but I couldn’t. I had a feeling the conference would bring up a lot of old attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs. I did not want to go back to that pit.

My worst fears of that weekend came true, not because they became a self-fulfilling prophecy, but rather because Jesus wanted to teach me a very valuable lesson about my time back in the pit.

Jesus redeemed our lives from the pit. He set our feet on the Rock. He sustains our life, He preserves us complete in Him.

He did not set us free to plunge us back into the pit. He sets us free from the pit and brought life to us outside of the pit.

When we choose, and it is a choice we make, to plunge ourselves back into a pit of our own making, the pit Jesus redeemed us out of, we cheapen grace and make light of His death as a sacrifice and payment. Our redemption cost Jesus dearly.

Pit dwellers don’t come cheap.

His freedom never intended us to be free to return to our pit–that is hypocrisy and exactly what brought judgement on the Israelites. Jesus freed them from the slavery of the Egyptians and they wanted to go back.

There is no life in the pit–only destruction, despair, and death.

“Who redeems your life from the pit…” Psalm 103:4

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, our of the miry clay and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. Psalm 40:2

“The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer, My God, my Rock in Whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my Stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

“For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living.” Psalm 56:13

The difference between a pit and a refuge is our focus and our position. Pits are safe–to our flesh but are deadly to our spirit. They provide a false sense of security and only seem to feel comfortable.

In a pit we are wrapped up in self and self-pity.  Despair is the name of our game. Our focus is self. One friend worded his pit dwelling as: Crawling around in that dark cave of despair-somehow thinking there are answers written on the walls of my past.

That is a pretty dang good summation of a pit, at least in the eyes of this former pit dweller. We crawl around in the dark looking for answers, looking for anything that will feed self and make the pain stop. Just make it all stop. But life in a pit is a never-ending cycle of pain and more pain.

Why do you think addictions are so common? We all need something to deaden the pain of dead-end life in the pit. Yes, even believers.

Oh, my precious friend, please hear me, I’ve lived in a pit. I’ve been that selfish, self-serving girl full of self-pity. And there is no life there.

A refuge is safe, it’s a downy pillow on a soft, downy bed. It is rest and relief. It’s a place of release. It’s a sigh at the end of long day. It’s a place where fears don’t last and striving stops.

Pits exude fear and there is a constant striving. We strive to get better, to be better, to get ourselves out of that dang pit one more time. We strive to get back at the idiot that tossed us in the pit because when this is our address it’s never our fault or responsibility.

He has redeemed our life from the pit.
We don’t live there anymore. 

He has set our feet on a rock.
We are secure in Him.

He set our boundaries in pleasant places.
He is trustworthy to keep us out of the pit.

He is our Rock and our Redeemer.
No one loves us, no one gave as much for us as Jesus.