September 14, 2018
When You’re in a Hole
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. Psalm 40:1-2 (NIV)
Friend to Friend
Have you ever felt stuck and helpless in a situation beyond your control?
I remember literally being stuck in a pit, unable to get up. Years ago, my family of five was walking along some cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. My husband James went with our daughter Noelle on a more challenging trail. My son Ethan stayed with me and Lucy who was about 18 months old at the time. As we were walking, the dirt path dipped down two feet into a large hole that you had to walk through before stepping back up onto the trail.
I thought I had it all under control. But when I set my foot down, my ankle twisted, and I hurled forward into that dirt hole, clutching little Lucy for dear life. I had been holding her since the dirt path was uneven. The angels must have surrounded her because she didn’t have a scratch or bruise on her from that fall. I absorbed the impact with my shoulder. My hands were all scratched up and I couldn’t move my right ankle.
Ethan who was six looked petrified. Even though I was petrified too, I remained calm in order to steady him. “I’m fine,” I said. “I just hurt my ankle. We’re going to be okay. Just yell for help.” He started yelling at the top of his lungs, “Help! Help!” In between his yells, I yelled “James!” and Lucy yelled “Daddy!” But no one heard us, and no one came.
Usually patience is required when you get stuck in a hole.
We prayed, “Lord send someone to get me out of this hole.” It was the first time I remember feeling totally helpless as a mom. I was lying on my back, holding Lucy, unable to get up on my own. We were alone on a trail. We were counting on God.
It felt like a long time, but after a few minutes, a woman heard Ethan’s cries for help. She picked up Lucy out of the hole and then she began to pull me out. I had a firm place to stand once again. She said, “Come help Ethan,” and I thought, wow, how does she know my son’s name?
But it was her Ethan, a junior high boy who came into the picture and lifted me to my feet. Five minutes later, James and Noelle came into view. We yelled and waved our arms frantically like passengers stranded on a desert island. We got to urgent care and thankfully my foot wasn’t broken. It was just sprained. I wrote some lessons in my journal after that leisure stroll gone wrong:
Stay together in your family. Don’t split up. There’s strength in staying together.
When you’re in a hole, remain calm. Pray and ask for God’s help. He will send it – maybe in unusual ways.
Be patient with the process.
Maybe you’re in a crisis time right now. Maybe physical problems have you flat on your back. When you find yourself in one of life’s holes, pray. Scream at the top of your lungs, “Daddy!!!” and I promise God will hear your prayer and come. He will set your feet on a rock and give you a firm place to stand.
Father, thank you that You hear me when I cry out for help. When I am in a pit, I ask You to lift me up and set my feet on solid ground. Help me to see Your purpose in the journey that I’m on. May I avoid temptation and pitfalls. Keep me walking in faith every day.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
The verse following our key verse is Psalm 40:3, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” Take a moment to praise God, singing a song of praise and thanks to Him. Praise lifts us from the pit and into the presence of God.
More from the Girlfriends
Are you discouraged in your family? Arlene’s book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom can help you stand on solid ground as a parent. Learn more about Arlene and find free resources for your home on her website.
Originally published Friday, 14 September 2018.