There are forty-six verses in the Bible that mention "pit." At one time or another, all of us have found ourselves in one. Certainly one of the most famous examples is that of Joseph, whose own brothers put him in a pit before selling him off into slavery. Noted speaker and best-selling author, Beth Moore, writes about this biblical figure and points out that while he is pleading and begging for his life, his brothers are sitting outside the pit, eating their lunch. It had to be the lowest point for Joseph. And
Along with the story of Joseph, Moore draws heavily on David, who knew about depths throughout his troubled life, and from his words that he penned in Psalm 40:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
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.
Like the Psalmist, Beth Moore knows the pit, but, more importantly, she knows a God who can deliver one from it.
Beth Moore writes in a conversational style, at one point inviting the reader to imagine that they are with her having breakfast at IHOP and then to Starbucks for coffee. But there is more than mere small talk in what she offers, as she draws deeply from scripture as she offers encouragement and guidance from her own personal experience and the experiences of those she has counselled.
She proposes three ways to get out of a pit:
1. Cry out
What I responded to the most about her writing is how deeply personal and honest Beth Moore is. She isn't afraid to present herself as flawed, as having failed, and of the struggles and pits she has been in in her own life. "Your wealth of experiences makes you rich," she writes, "Spend it on hurt people. They need it so badly." By Christ's wounds we are healed and its by our own wounds that we can help others to heal if we are open and vulnerable enough to share our own experiences of pain and being in the pit. I learned the power of sharing such moments when I blogged about my own struggles with depression and suicide. When we have encountered God and experienced Him in the depths of hell, one cannot help but be more compassionate and empathetic to those who are hurting and stuck in the depths.
We cry out and God responds. As Moore writes, "God is sovereign and has His own reasons for responding in the ways He does. But from what I can tell about Him, I think He usually waits for us to cry out so He can remove all doubt about who came to our rescue . . . Things don't just work out. God works them out. Blessed is the one who knows it."
Deliverance causes us to worship and to point others to our Deliverer.
"Having a new song in our mouths," she writes, "doesn't mean we're completely out of the pain that caused the pit or the pain our pit caused. It doesn't even mean, if ours was a pit of sin, that all the consequences are necessarily behind us. It just means we're no longer stuck. No longer defeated. No longer caked in mud. Our vision is returning. Hints of creativity are reemerging. It's a new day . . . and we can't help but praise."
For anyone in the pit or just recovering from the pit or are in need of encouragement, this is a book I highly recommend.
She also ends the book with prayers from scripture that the reader can pray aloud, as well as a personal application guide and questions for a Bible study group.
Beth Moore's Official Website:
Living Proof Ministries