Feb 04

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Psalm 40:1-3

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. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.

This past year has challenged many of us as we’ve had to navigate difficult circumstances. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself, at times, in an emotional spiral with feelings of heaviness creeping into my inner soul … facing situations that I felt helpless to change. But it’s been in those moments that I’ve turned to God and His Word and have read the heartfelt words of King David. 

In Psalm 40, King David uses the metaphor of a “pit” to describe the deep despair he is feeling. He paints a vivid picture in describing the pit as “slimy” and filled with “mud and mire.”  It’s a strikingly distressing picture of his mental and emotional state. 

Just like David, our own circumstances can make us feel like we are being dragged down into a suffocating emotional pit of mud and mire – illness, finances, failures, broken relationships, isolation, stress, fear, our own sin, etc. But there is hope. 

In Psalm 40:2, we learn that God hears David’s cry of distress because He was right there sitting with David in His pit.  God is sitting with us in our pits, too.  He hears our cries of distress. He sees our tears of pain and wrestling. 

But David did not remain in his pit.  He was lifted out of his pit by a loving God who saw Him and was intimately acquainted with his suffering. Not only did God lift him out of the pit, but He placed him on a rock. A rock is steady; it does not waver; it is secure. Jesus is our rock. He is our security.  He will provide hope in our circumstances if we choose to put our trust in Him. 

It’s interesting that Psalm 40 begins with, “I waited patiently for the Lord.” It can be challenging to wait patiently for God’s help, especially when you feel like you’re stuck in a pit. But it’s in the waiting that the Lord does His deepest work in our hearts. 

So what might God be trying to teach you in your pit? What is He asking you to release or repent of? Where’s your focus? Is it on the mud and mire of your circumstances? Or, is it on Jesus? 

God uses the pits in our lives as catalysts for spiritual growth. He did it in David’s life and He can do it in our lives, too.  But only if we choose to surrender our pit and allow Him to pull us out. 

As I have meditated on Psalm 40, I have observed that David provides some helpful prayer practices whenever we find ourselves in a pit. Throughout Psalm 40, David waits on the Lord, trusts in Him, exercises gratitude, and asks God for His help. So as we seek the Lord to rescue us from our own pits of despair, let us join David in using his life-giving prayer practices.    


Wait: Take time to listen to the Holy Spirit, being sensitive to how He might want to guide you. God desires us to be still, to wait, and to listen for His direction.  Take some time to identify any pit in your life that you’re not inviting God into. What is a roadblock that prevents you from trusting God with your pit?

Trust: Next, spend time focusing on God and who He is. God can be trusted because He has proven Himself trustworthy. Take time to place your trust in the Lord by surrendering your circumstances to Him. What pit is God asking you to surrender? Lay that before Him now.

Exercise Gratitude: Follow up your time of submission with a time of gratitude. Take time to thank the Lord for things He has done in your life and is doing now. 

Ask for Help: Psalm 40:17 - “But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.”  End your time, by asking God for His help in your circumstance. Pour your heart out to Him because He cares for you.

Elizabeth Miller

FriendsKids Elementary Director