Waiting in the Pit

“For the choir director. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.  He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD. ”  Psalm 40:1-3 [NASB]

Last night I finally washed Sarah’s sheets and blankets and made her bed, neatly placing her favorite blankets and stuffed animals back in their places.   It shattered my already broken heart a little further.  So this morning I find myself still in this pit I’ve been stuck in for several days now.  I see the light of His new mercy in the morning as I spend time in His Word, but in the depth of the pit I don’t feel it fully washing over me as I do when I am on solid ground, for now the shadow of death seems to block its warmth.  I have no energy to claw or climb my way out, and even if I did have the energy to somehow get out it would never be sufficient to keep me from eventually sliding back in.  So as I sit here in the mire of this pit this morning I once again look to His Word longing for encouragement.

David “waited patiently for the LORD” in the pit.  That alone is encouragement to me this morning.  Not only did he, the man after God’s own heart, fall into the pit just like me, he also realized he was incapable of getting out by his own strength.  So he waited, he sat in the pit and waited.  He waited but he did not wait silently.  He says God “inclined to me and heard my cry.”  He was crying out to God from the depths of the mire of the pit, and God heard and inclined Himself to David.  Not only was David crying out, but as he was waiting, it says specifically that he was waiting “patiently.”  Some think the word for patiently here is better understood as “intently.”  Either way the implication is the same, as David was waiting in the mire he was expecting His God to answer.  The man after God’s own heart knew the character and nature of God just as we can through His Word, and He knew that His God prides Himself on His faithfulness and lovingkindness to His children.

“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments” Deuteronomy 7:9 [NASB]

My prayer through tears this morning before opening His Word was that He would remind me of His faithfulness, and that He would give me confidence to wait on Him.  I’m so thankful His Word is living and active, that through the power of the Holy Spirit He faithfully speaks exactly what our aching hearts need to hear.  So once again in the midst of this suffering I will entrust my soul to my “faithful creator,” and I will choose to wait patiently, intently, for Him in this pit (1 Peter 4:19).  Like David, I will cry out knowing He will hear and eventually answer me, “My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me” (Psalm 77:1).  I find courage in knowing He will lift me out, providing my way of escape, in His time.  In the meantime I know He is faithful and will supply my every need to endure however long He chooses to leave me here.

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. ” 1 Corinthians 10:13 [NASB]

Eventually, in His time, He will once again “set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.”  When He does He will also “put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”  May the world around us bear witness to His deliverance of our family from the pit.  May they witness His placing of our feet on solid ground, and may they hear the new song in our mouths.  As they do, our prayer for them is that they, too, “will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.”

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Artwork: Sarah Harmening

10 thoughts on “Waiting in the Pit

  1. Oh, Karen, how I wish we who love you could help carry your burden and lighten your load. It breaks my heart that your sweet family is suffering so. Praying that the Lord will comfort you in ways that we can’t begin to understand.

  2. You are amazing! I think of your family everyday and pray for you. You have no idea how many hearts you are healing by writing about your journey. This August will be 25 years since my brother was killed in a car wreck. I have found healing in your words.

  3. As I’m reading this, looking forward to the precious artwork, I had a vision. ( is it old people or young people who have visions? Lol). Visions of your sweet family rising out of the ashes!!! You will , somehow, get through this. Never over, but through this! THERE IS NOTHING TO DIFFICULT FOR THEE! You have Gods promise.
    Love you my friend,

  4. Oh the pit. The black hole of despair. I remember it so well. Praise the Name of our awesome God I can testify that He will rescue you from that pit! Melvin and I talk about that pit sometimes still and can still feel the draw of it on occasions and dates 10 years later. I honestly can’t tell you a date that He rescued me from it. But I know He did and I know He will for you too. I love you! (And that quote from Betsie ten Boom is my FAVORITE! It is one of my life quotes.)

      1. I don’t personally know you but have friends at your church. My heart aches for you. I can’t even imagine what you are experiencing. Sarah’s short life touched many. May God give you and your family comfort in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

  5. God is on the throne and His Scripture still rings true! I heard about the wreck on news, but that’s it until a friend shared your blog yesterday. I’ve read several posts to know more of the story God is writing on your heart. I too, live on this “planet.” Joyful to see God is speaking to you through your deep sorrow and He is being glorified. The testimony of your daughter’s life on the news coverage was a testament of your faith, which was evident from your writings. She is blessed to have you as her mom (and the rest of your family it seems). I was amazed God led me to the post about being on the pastor search team even before I read about your daughter. I too, was on an interim team the same time as you, however two years after my son passed away by suicide. Your words brought me to tears again because I felt very similar in my experience with what God was showing me, and as in the “loss” of my son, felt very alone, so your words were both comforting and affirming to see how God was speaking to you/me (nothing impossible with God). We are definitely a kindred spirit. My husband and I went to a couples retreat for bereaved parents in TN. I HIGHLY recommend checking into it. Also her books are enlightening, “Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow,” “When Your Family’s Lost a Loved One,” “What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps and What Really Hurts.” The site is http://www.nancyguthrie.com
    Thank you for sharing your heart and what God is doing. We will never know here all the eternal benefits, but we know not one thing is wasted with God and He is making all things new. One day soon we will see His “glorious unfolding” (Steven Curtis Chapman song). By the way Mercy Me is my favorite group and I love that song “Even If” 😢 It has brought solace to my soul as I know it has yours (and many, many other songs). Your writing is beautiful and healing to your shattered heart.
    Sharing in your sorrow…praying God’s grace abounds. In His love and for His name’s sake,
    Beth 💕
    Numbers 6:24-26, Isaiah 11:2, Psalm 63:3, Psalm 34, Psalm 84:11,
    Psalm 33:20-22
    Twitter @Ecc4Princess

  6. Through it all, your words are helping so many and I pray helping you at this time. Prayers for all the family.

  7. I know the pit well. But, after twenty months I praise God that I spend less time there in its seemingly bottomless depths and I am slowly getting my feet under me. It takes time alone with the Lord, doing the hard work of grieving and letting Him care for us through His word by His Spirit. As we stand together on the Rock let us sing His praises that many may see it and fear and trust Him. Psalm 34.

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