“My Rope Out Of The Pit”

The following are excerpts from an article (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/my-rope-out-of-the-pit) which were timely reminders for me – timely, because these were thoughts I had been meditating on and talking about recently with a beloved brother; and reminders, because I could relate to them from past formative experiences.

Before my whirlwind, I’d been reading Psalm 119. I appreciated what it said, but thought it was long, boring, and awfully repetitive. My attitude changed in the pit. The words now felt like cardboard on good days, hollow promises on average days, and cruel taunts on bad ones. I had sought the Lord’s testimonies and been faithful to his word, and yet I was being put to shame (Psalm 119:2, 6). I wondered if God’s promises were true, or if they would fail me as everything else in my life had.

With nowhere else to turn, I kept reading and rereading Psalm 119, looking for hope and light. I remember when I found it.

I was sobbing, looking for relief, when I read, “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word” (Psalm 119:25). These words suddenly took on new meaning. I prayed them, asking God to give me life through his word, because I felt wrung out beyond my strength. I wondered if anything could revive me.

God heard my cries and assured me that his word would give me wisdom (Psalm 119:66), and then direction as it lit my path (Psalm 119:105). It gave me hope (Psalm 119:49), and it comforted me in my pain (Psalm 119:50). I felt the Lord’s steadfast love (Psalm 119:76), as he strengthened me (Psalm 119:28) and filled me with joy and peace that could withstand my grief (Psalm 119:111, 165).

God’s word became more precious to me in suffering and has given me joy in my darkest days. As Jeremiah can attest, even as he laments his misfortune, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16). Even in our affliction, or perhaps especially in our affliction, God’s unchanging word will uphold and guide us so we can take comfort that “the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

Vaneetha Rendall Risner

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