Navigating this life can be hard.
Hazards lie all around, like land mines; the path is riddled with them. My five senses find no end of ways to sin, to descend into the depressions to the left and to the right. Many of these pits are labelled clearly: anger! lust! apathy! fear! self-pity! Their bright carnival signs, flashing lights, and enticing music bely their grim titles. There is a stench of death and decay coming from their depths.
Nevertheless, I often leap into them. Sometimes with narrowed eyes and set jaw, I dive in, determined to satisfy the clamor of my soul. Sometimes I walk slowly, considering the cost and knowing the consequences. Other times I am simply looking the other way and I stumble heavily, finding myself at the bottom quite suddenly.
And sometimes, I am thrown in.
Sometimes…I am pushed.
Sometimes the shit in my past, shit that happened when I was small and helpless and unprotected, looms up large and terrifying and hits me like a 350 pound linebacker, and I go down hard.
I am sitting at the bottom of the pit, in the stench and vileness, and I hurt. I am the lamb bleating in pain and fear, and it is not fair.
IT IS NOT FAIR.
We all suffer from the wounds inflicted upon us that were not our fault; the battles that were fought around us that we did not participate in but which hurt us nonetheless because the shrapnel flew fast and far and buried itself deeply in our flesh. We tried to run, but we didn’t make it far enough, fast enough. And the scars, they are ugly, and they still open and bleed. Usually when we least expect it.
But there is good news.
GOD IS BIGGER.
He knows about not-fair. Purity…hanging on a cross with nails severing muscle and nerve, flesh opened and bleeding from countless whips, He lived and died the not-fair.
And because He did, He is uniquely qualified to lift you up.
He is bigger than the shit that hit you when you were not the one throwing it.
He weeps with you in the not fair of it all. He holds you close. And He will make all things new.
Because to Him, all pits are pits, and regardless of the means by which we were brought low, His ability to lift us up remains unchanged. He stretches out His hand, He opens up the door, and we walk out again. He is the ladder, and He is the way out of all pits, of all kinds, for all time.
Though the path be riddled, and the storms be strong, He holds me by the hand (Psalm 73:23). He makes my path straight (Proverbs 3:6). He speaks calm to the confusion (Mark 4:39) . When I am guided by Him, He will not let my foot slip into destruction (Psalm 94:13).
Though I am tempted to think that the best way, the most logical way, to avoid the pits is to look about myself constantly, keep my eyes on my feet, move slowly and cautiously…quite the opposite is true. The only way to avoid the falling is to keep my eyes riveted to the One who begins and ends every day of my life. The One who hems me in before and behind.
When I keep my eyes fixed on Him, I need not worry about the pits at all, nor the scars, nor the shrapnel. The linebackers skulk away.
And I walk in safety.