Out of the Pit
By Rockne Dahl, Interim Pastor
One of my favorite scriptures is found in Psalm 40:1–3: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned 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.” Verse 4 adds: “Blessed is the person who makes the LORD his trust.”
Many people struggle to get out of their own personal slimy pits such as drug de- pendency, depression, illness or chronic debt. A friend of mine, Pastor Jeff, felt called to the ministry so he enrolled at Pacific Union College. He and his wife had little money so they found a chicken coop which had been converted into a rental house. It was all they could afford. Jeff’s wife became very depressed. Maybe it was the fragrance of the chickens which had lived in their rented accommodations; maybe it was the distance she felt from her family home or their lack of money; no one ever knew exactly why she became depressed. But with severe depression comes a fall into helplessness. My friend’s wife became incapable of doing anything for herself. For an entire year he had to
feed her each and every meal. She was in a deep psy- chological pit.
Pastor Jeff tells the story of how he found the pas- sage quoted above in Psalm 40. He claimed this scripture as God’s very own promise to him and his wife. Every day he read it. Every day he prayed over it and claimed it as God’s word to him. Every day he took care of his wife. He fed her, bathed her, helped her get dressed and loved her the best he could even though despair sometimes crowded into his own heart—and gradually she got better. Gradually she got well as God lifted her out of the mud and mire and set her feet on a Rock.
The next time you meet someone stuck in a slimy pit read this scripture to them. Tell them that God will turn and help lift them up if they wait patiently and trust him. God may lift them up by means of earnest prayer, or a therapist, or self-help books, or the love of a friend or a support group, but he will lift them up—it’s a promise! Ellen White said that “God has a thousand ways to help us of which we know nothing.” The point of Psalm 40 is hope. God wants to help us find firm standing on the Rock. He wants to put a new song in our mouths.
Corrie Ten Boom wrote: “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”