Pitfall

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

Psalm 40:2 (NLT)

Change. Just the word can instill fear in many people. While others seem to thrive on change, others seem to run and hide from it. Either way, change can create a lot of stress in our lives. I believe it’s actually not the change itself that creates a lot of the stress, but the fear of the unknown. We don’t know exactly what lies ahead when change happens.

Often times, change is forced upon us, it’s out of our control. In those moments, fear and stress can be overwhelming. It becomes very easy, natural even, to fall into despair. The word despair isn’t one we use too often in the 21st century, so here’s the basic definition: It’s an absence of hope. In other words, our hope in a good life, in our sanity, even in our God, begin to fade as despair begins to overwhelm our thoughts. We feel trapped, lost, stressed out, paralyzed.

The psalmist here describes despair as a pit. I think that’s very appropriate. A pit is a deep hole from which we can not climb out on our own. I’ve been in this pit. It’s not a fun place to hang out.

Once again, though, we see the power of our Savior. With His mighty hand, His victorious hand, His scarred hand, He reaches down into the pit and pulls us out. In the middle of our stress, in the moment of our greatest despair, He is there. He’s always there.

Also notice that it isn’t enough that He lifts us out. Nope. We have a God that cares for every part of our life (as we read in the previous devotional). When He lifts us out of despair, He puts us on solid ground and then continues to walk with us, steadying us as we go.

Change is a reality of life. But so is our God who cares deeply for each one of us.

He is greater than our despair. He is greater than anything that comes against us. He alone can save us from the pits in life. He alone can guide our steps as He journeys with us. As change happens, and despair begins to set in, look for the hand of our Savior. He’s ready, willing, and able to lift us up, set us on solid ground, and lead us on the journey of a lifetime.

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