A gentle whisper from the LORD...

"Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 Kings 19:11-12

Monday, March 3, 2014

From Pit to Cliff

Swallowed by the pit, attempt is my strength.  Leaving this bottomless pit is a must.  So I attempt, reaching my arms, stretching…sinking my fingers into the slim of comparison.
 “Maybe, if I can keep my house clean like her…or perhaps, their ‘paradise’ homeschool experience will pale in comparison to my plans and crafts and cuddle reading times.  Perhaps P90X will make me look like her.  Maybe, just maybe, I can lift myself up out of this hellhole.” 
But the harder I try, I find no substance for my hands to grasp. 
“She has more children, more talent, a slimmer, athletic body.  God must really think a lot of her.” 
The attempt to climb out of the muddy walls of comparison provide no stronghold.  I find myself falling, right back where I began, deep within the pit.
I turn to the other side of the engulfing pit…
“Maybe this side will prove more successful.”
My foot searches for a rock climber’s dream.  Yet the mudslide of “being good enough” proves itself to be of no help.  Still, I attempt…
1.      Study the Bible
2.      Obey all rules
3.      Be polite
4.      Say religious prayers…so everyone will hear me…and be impressed
5.      Post really cute but unrealistic pictures of our homeschool
I attempt to appear to those around me the perfect wife, the perfect mother, in a perfect home.  I attempt…attempt…I fall.  Deeper still.
The sinkhole of jealousy takes its toll.  I cannot fight anymore.  It sucks me in, absorbing every part of my being…
“Why has God blessed her with more children?  Why does it always seem everyone’s name is called yet I’m still sitting in the waiting room?  Why do I have a 1979 galley-kitchen-for-one while she has a gourmet kitchen yet hates cooking?  How is it possible that I work out day after day yet still haven’t achieved that beachbody?”
I sink, further and further in self-pity and jealousy.  My surroundings become dark and messy and hopeless.  I muster out a cry yet my voice is muttered in the soundproof mud walls.
Finally, sweet release…                         
And then…HE lifts me out of the pit, out of the muck and mire and HE sets my feet on the rock and HE gives me a firm place to stand!  HE lifts me to a cliff far from the depths of despair. 

The heavens open and mercy drops shower over me, rinsing me clean of the muck and mire.  The light of HIS truth immerses me.  The winds of the HOLY SPIRIT encircle me and I breath…I breath fresh truths into the crevices of my soul.  And the GOD ALMIGHTY, the I AM, reminds me that I am his daughter…and it was never his plan for me to inhabit the pit.

Suddenly perspectives alter.  The earth grows dim in HIS presence.  The darkness scatters in HIS light.  The muck and mire are no longer in control. 
For HE lifted me out of the pit of self-doom.
HE put my feet on the Rock of HIS Word.
HE is everything good…all hope…eternal salvation.  HE is my rock.  HE is my EVERYTHING!
After a lifetime of useless work and unsuccessful attempts and slippery slopes, I finally rest.  I rest in HIM.  I rest in HIS peace.  I long to be higher and closer to GOD ALMIGHTY.  My voice cannot be contained and air-filled lungs and a not-so-talented set of vocal chords begin to sing!  Deep emotion and heartfelt thanksgiving ring out into all the earth!
Thank you, JESUS!  Thank you, JESUS!
“…he turned to me and heard my cry,
he lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 40:1-2

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