You are stuck in a pit with greased walls and flooring. You try to reach up as if to get up, but the shifting of your weight causes you to slide back into noxious circumstances and consequences. Your head hurts from the bang as you hit the bottom over and over again of what feels like a murky abyss. Once again, when calm eventually returns, you resolve to move, to sit up, to drink a sip of life-giving water. But, WHACK!!! The cage surrounding your private hell holds you captive while a loved one watches nearby, powerless, speechless. You can’t speak and he simply prays. The minutes linger as you drift into what others may view as sleep. Truth is, it takes too much energy to keep your eyes open. Two or more hours pass. You “wake up” afraid again to move. What fate will you encounter? Will you break free or will the illusion of freedom elude you? Your love returns, watches in anguish, and offers help. Thanks. But you must wait until the grease is gone. You must wait until the bars of the cage are opened. You must both linger in the unknown of what will happen next: will you be delivered to freedom or not?
Prayer is critical at a time like this. This is a time where striving accomplishes nothing. This is a time where platitudes fail. This is a time where worry brings you: zip. This is a time where trust is all you have: trust in the one you can see and trust in The One you cannot see. You in charge of nothing. You didn’t put yourself into that pit and you are not the one who can lift you out of it either. This is what it means to “wait on the Lord.” And it must be His will, because if it was the will of Satan, the ruler of this world, you would never arise from any abyss of this life. The ruler of the dark wants you to stay in your despair, your pain, your angst, your anger; you get the picture. He wants you as far from the grace and love of Jesus Christ as you can possibly be. Then, He wins. Yet it is the hope of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that you would turn to Him in these times of trial. For He is not the author of the trial. He grieves that you go through it and that ugliness even exists in this world. For it was not His plan when He created the world, that you suffer and die in this life. Death came from the fall of mankind in the Garden, thousands of years ago . . . . . Death came from sin and we will never be free from these circumstances and consequences separate from Him.
He is our hope. He is our hope whether we emerge from the pit or not. What? Yes, the freedom we receive is not freedom from trials. We still live in a fallen world in temporal bodies. We receive freedom from despair in times like these. We receive an ever present companion, a hope that we will not only recover from illness someday but will be made perfect as He is perfect. We will know love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. We will have victory and reign with Him someday in heaven, the New Jerusalem to come. And that will be a time when we do not measure our experience by the hour; we will be living in eternity. Knowing this, we can endure a night in a pit. Dear friend, you can’t measure this life by what you can see. Choose to “see” Him, reach for Him, believe in Him and He will free your soul in ways that transcend your flesh. He may fix your life. Someday, He will bless you through the mystery that you now endure. In Romans 5 of the Bible we read:
2 b And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The purpose of suffering often transcends our understanding but it is within the will and plan of God. Unfortunately, suffering is the consequence of sin in this world and because of sin, God came to earth to save us from sin. That does not necessarily mean that sin caused our infirmity either! We may never know why we suffer or when our suffering will end. I do know that if we believe in Him and His Word, someday, we will be free. Today my freedom is not in my flesh. Today my freedom is in my heart and in my spirit. Once I get past the distraction of illness, I only see Him and His promises. I know that these trials will not be wasted either. I have lived through enough pain and suffering to discover that His grace comes only as a result of it; the very answers to prayer I seek, sometimes come through the trials.
I choose to trust in the hope of Jesus Christ. I choose to receive His anointing with the oil of His holiness and truth. In His strength and not my own, the pit and cage will fade away in due time. By His cross, by His grace, we all can find rest. A good degreaser is all we really need. Where will you put your hope this day?