Praise in the Pit

4929374625_cca549bba6_m Down in the dumps. Drowning in debt. Upside down on your mortgage, the depths of despair. Hitting rock bottom. Marriage on the rocks…

What do all these phrases have in common? They all describe situations that are down, below something else, away from goodness.  In the bible the Psalmist mentions a “pit” 19 times. The pit is described as a place of the deep, a darkness, a place prepared for you by your enemy. A horrible place that anyone who has ever been in one of the clichéd pits above can tell you is indeed deep, dark and horrible.

Any pit has a  top, an opening, and that is where the light is. There is only one way out of a pit and that is up. You must look up, you must look to the light. Looking down is easier but it gets you nothing but more darkness, more muck, more depression. Even if you cannot reach the light you must look to it, reach for it, strive to get there. But how? Again the Psalmist, who is very familiar with the pit gives us the answer:

“But thou are Holy, O Thou that inhabits the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted Thee: they trusted and Thou did deliver them.” (Psalms 22:3) The deliver inhabits the praises of His people. Even in a pit, we must praise. We must not give to looking down, succumb to the temptation to have a pity party sitting in our muck. We must cry out and trust the One who delivers. If we are going to dig deeper we must dig for the faith to trust that God is there no matter how deep the pit. Keep praising and trust God for your deliverance is at hand!

He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.    Psalms 40:2

This post is an excerpt from “The Little Engine who could Not…” available on Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback.

The Courage to change the things I can…

1001031_10200231711850733_1457908686_nPriceless, made for me by my son.

I never realized how much courage it takes to change things. Courage to leave all that is familiar, even the chaos of alcoholism. Courage to grasp for your own recovery and refuse to let go. Courage to feel the fear of all of this and keep going anyway.

Where do we get courage? Is there an ATM where we can withdraw this firmness of mind, fortitude and endurance, this courage?

Yes, it is the Holy Bible containing the promise’s of God. God’s word contains over 366 commanding us to “fear not” in various forms. That means you get a verse a day, including leap year! What a great God have to provide this for us to quench the fiery dart shot at us from the enemy of our souls.

There are also very familiar verses instructing us to “be courageous” and these I love dearly for they also contain His promise and His presence. Brother’s and Sister’s, whatever you have to do to be free, whatever changes and challenges you face on your personal road to serenity, He is with you. What else do you need?

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.       Joshua 1:9 NIV

Crabs in a Bucket

550750_3403013069354_826486111_nIf you have never had the pleasure of going crabbing, you should try it as soon as you can. It’s one of the most fun ways that you can get sunburned and a backache! Personally I am a fan of doing it the hard way: with a hand line and a chicken bone- probably the reason for the backache. ( there are easier methods, so don’t worry) The craziest thing about crabbing is *drum roll* the crabs! Once you get a crab in the bucket it scoots around, claws extended, already a looser but spoiling for a fight. Get two in the bucket and they will start fighting with each other. Once you get three or more, they will climb up on top of each other in what looks to be a coordinated escape plan. One crab gets to the top of the pile, ready to get out of the bucket and the other crabs will pull him down.

Isn’t this the way our dysfunctional behavior works?

We scoot around, always spoiling for a fight, fight each other and in our dysfunction pull each other down.

So I ask you, who’s in your bucket? And what crabby behavior could you change today?

He who walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.       Proverbs 13:20

 

This post is excerpted from my book, The Little Engine who could Not…., available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.