He took me out of the pit and from the miry clay.
He set my feet on a rock, establishing my way.
He put a song in my mouth our God to magnify,
And He’ll take me someday to His home on high.
Anyone else ever feel like they’re in a pit of miry clay? I do sometimes. I feel like I’m trying and trying, but every time I try to move forward or upward I just slide back to where I started and end up slightly more muddy. Like all my efforts to get out just end up with me more mired and muddy and stuck.**
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever actually become the person I hope to be. I want to be kind and compassionate, but then I find myself snapping at my mom or dad for no reason. I’ve literally stood and listened to myself before, thinking, “What the heck is spewing out of my mouth right now??? I’m not even actually upset, I’m just acting upset to hurt them more!? Stop it! Allison, stop it!” I mean, these are the people I love the most! Shouldn’t I LOVE them the most?
Or I want to be that person who goes out into the world and radiates God’s love and light and heals people and sets them free and changes lives. You know the kind of person Jesus told us to be.
Matthew 10: 8 ESV
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.
↑↑↑ That kind of person. Today I was part of a brief conference on healing hosted by some friends of mine, and one of them shared how just in the last month he really decided to go for it, take the bull by the horns, and step out in faith, and he’s seen healing after healing after healing. My heart screamed, “THAT COULD BE ME! People change their lives all the time. All I have to do is start DOING it!” But another voice inside me whispered, “That could be you. But it won’t be. You’ve wanted and tried to make this change so many times, but you’ve failed just as many times.” I know that’s not the truth about my life … but it is hard to ignore, because it is a fact. There have been times when I did step out in faith, when I prayed for a coworker or a friend or some random stranger at the Send, and it has impacted them in profound and unexpected ways. God took my little, tentative steps and multiplied the impact WAY more than could possibly be explained by what actually transpired. And every time I got excited and thankful and couldn’t wait to do more … and then inexplicably didn’t. For looooong periods of time. I don’t know what happens, but it doesn’t seem to get easier. I take that step, I start climbing that bank, but then I slip and end up back at the bottom, mystified.
I need to turn around and see the hand that has been trying desperately to get my attention the whole time. The song quoted above comes from Psalm 40.
Psalm 40: 2, 3 (ESV)
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
I love the Psalms. They’re so relatable. Good ole King David; so utterly human. I’ve read those verses many times, I’ve even had the realization before that my life occasionally feels like that miry bog, where I can’t gain any traction and can’t go anywhere, but God lifts me and sets my feet on a rock where I can get my feet under me and RUN wherever I want. But for some reason today it LIVED for me and the desperation of the situation, the struggle to get free, the building frustration as you keep trying and failing to get out, only managing to mire yourself deeper and deeper, were all quite real. As was the hand, strong and secure, that reached out for me.
I’m not entirely sure what, precisely, it looks like to let Him bring me out of the pit. I’m not sure how to rely on His strength instead of mine. But I know for sure that I can’t conduct this rescue on my own. It’s not a self-service situation. Been there, tried that, have yet to buy the t-shirt (never made it that far). And I know that God’s rescue will be complete. That that hand will be there not only to pull me out of the pit, dust me off, and set me on a rock with a swat on the rear and an, “Off you go!” That it will be there, supporting me, through those rough first minutes when the freedom and the relief and the indecision hit all at once and I have absolutely no idea what to do now that I’m out of the pit and am not completely convinced that it’s true yet. And through those first steps that are still a bit slippery because there’s mud all over my shoes. And all the way through when I start picking up speed and running, full speed ahead. I’ll be hand in hand with Him the whole way. I’m not sure exactly what all this looks like, letting go of my own rescue attempts and accepting His. But I’ll let you know as I find out.
**I just want to make a little note so that no one thinks I’m deep in depression or anything. I am quite a joyful person on the whole, just a bit frustrated with several qualities that are being stubborn right now.