But I called on your name, Lord,
from deep within the pit.
Lamentations 3:55 (NLT)
The man stood before me, tears streaming down his cheeks, as I explained to him a simple truth. Salvation was just a heart’s prayer a way. Call out to God. Open your heart. Ask Him in. Then it came. The pushback of shame I’ve heard many times:
“But you don’t understand the things I’ve done. If you knew where I’ve been. The terrible things… the horrible… the awful….”
I’ve discovered along my journey that when you live for any time in a pit, darkness has a tendency to attach itself to your soul. You begin absorbing the lies of darkness:
- You are no good
- What you’ve done in the darkness permanently marks you
- You don’t deserve forgiveness
- God doesn’t want you; No one wants you
- You deserve this pit in which you find yourself
- There is no way out.
The most amazing thing about Jeremiah’s Lamentation is the 180 turnabout he makes in today’s chapter. After two and a half chapters of wailing, weeping, and woe, Jeremiah dares to look up from his pit and see the Light. Amidst the destruction, depression and carnage Jeremiah reaches out to the life line of God’s love, compassion and faithfulness.
I can’t think of a more apt contemporary parallel to the type of suffering Jeremiah experienced than the victims of Nazi death camps in World War II. This morning I was reminded of the words of Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who was sent to the camps with her family for hiding Jews in The Hiding Place they’d made in their home. Her family all died in the concentration camps. Corrie was freed by a clerical error. Later in life she continuously shared this message from her own personal Lamentations:
“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”
After a litany of shame filled confessions out of the darkness of the spiritual pit he lived in, the man I mentioned at the beginning of my post looked up and saw a glimpse of light. He opened his heart. He took a step of faith. He uttered a simple prayer. His life changed forever.
Yours can too.
- Truth Amidst the Noise (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
- Courageous woman of Faith: Corrie Ten Boom interviewed by Katherine Kuhlman (beautifulpresencejoy.wordpress.com)
- Life is tough. (michellejoyeby.wordpress.com)