November 24, 2022
Trapped in a Pit?
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:11 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I could not tear my eyes away from the television screen as the 33 miners began to emerge from the depths of what could have been their mass grave. The men had been trapped for more than two months in the collapsed Chilean copper mines nearly half a mile underground. Everything I have read or heard about the tragedy is extraordinary.
The miners survived the early days by rationing food and working together as a team. Each man was assigned a job, one of which was to maintain peace and harmony until they were rescued. The selfless mining supervisor who insisted on being the last to leave his underground prison showed the world what it really means to put others first. I was amazed at the selflessness of the rescue worker who became the initial guinea pig for the rescue capsule and then chose to stay behind - alone - while the world celebrated above.
We all know what it is like to be trapped in a pit of some kind. It is probably not a collapsed mine, but pits are all basically the same.
Our world has collapsed under the weight of fear and pain.
People are too busy to recognize or understand our hopelessness.
Rescue seems impossible.
We are wounded, sick and tired.
We withdraw from the very people we love and need the most.
I truly believe that every day is filled with divine appointments – opportunities to rescue people who are trapped in some kind of pit. We miss the emptiness reflected in the eyes of the salesclerk, or we simply choose to ignore the homeless man begging for money so he can buy food.
After all, we are in a hurry and have more important things to do. Maybe we think the salesclerk would be embarrassed if we said anything, and that homeless man would probably just use the money for drugs or alcohol.
The ringing phone is someone in need, but we don’t care enough to answer. Our neighbor does not know God. But her life is a mess, and we really don’t want to get involved. Instead of doing what we know God wants us to do, we decide it is enough to pray for that neighbor and leave the messy part of God’s work to someone else.
But the words of God ring in my heart, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11 NIV).
I am so guilty of walking away from someone in need instead of running to them. I am in pain, too, and my pain is more important than theirs. I may not actually say those words, but I don’t have to. My actions are blatant illustrations of my own egotism and self-absorption.
I do not want to be like the priest who nonchalantly strolled by the wounded and bleeding man lying on the road. I want to be like the Good Samaritan who stopped and saved the wounded man’s life.
One day, just as rescue workers descended into that Chilean mine, Jesus Christ will descend into this broken world and rescue us from the pit of human frailty. Until then, let’s be His hands and feet. Let’s love Him so much that we just have to do something about it.
Father, I come to You today with a heart of praise for the way You meet every need in my life and how You constantly rescue me from the darkness. I want to be Your hands and feet to the people You place in my path. Give me eyes to see their need and the courage to do something about it. Please guard my heart against pride and selfishness. I want to please and honor You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
We are living in tough times. It is easy to get so wrapped up in our own problems that we fail to see the needs of others. We are never more like the Father than when we love and serve someone in His name.
Is there someone in your life who is hurting? How can you ease their pain?
More from the Girlfriends
Do you struggle with trusting God like these miners trusted Him? I do. That’s why I wrote The 10-Day Trust Adventure. It helps you learn to trust God in every area of your life.
Need encouragement … a friend to help you on your journey? Are you a pastor’s wife or Women’s Ministry leader? Mary can help you. Check out Mary’s coaching ministry, Friends for the Journey.
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Thursday, 24 November 2022.