A pit is a large dark hole in the ground that is normally deep and not easy to get out of. Because it is just dug from the earth you cannot just walk out of it as you wish. If you fall into a pit and there is no one around to see you go in then you could die there. In other words, a pit can be a dangerous place. In today's society pits are not so common except probably rural areas where farmers still use them as a source of storing water for their livestock.
A pit experience is thus horrible because your efforts to come out can result in you digging yourself deeper in. The mud in the pit can cause a landslide and bury you within. You get the picture!! So how does this relate to my life. Here it goes. One day I woke up and found myself in a deep dark place, helpless and unable to get out to a place of relief. In my mind I could not move. I felt as if life had stopped, and I was a total failure to God. I had no desire to do anything and the darkness even though frightening was also comforting. Nothing I did could shake what I was feeling. I tried to pray and failed at that too. I have never felt so alone. Now as a minister of God's word I thought I should be able to just quickly beat this. I started to speak a few words of rebuke but they sounded so shallow., as if I did not even believe them myself and the devils were just laughing at my attempt. How did I get to this low place? How could I get out? Would anyone hear me and help me? These questions kept going through my mind. Whew!!! This is a horrible place to be in for a child of God.
Don't turn a deaf ear when I call you, God. If all I get from you is deafening silence, I'd be better off in the Black Hole. Psalm 28:1 (MSG).
As I stated I am not sure how I arrived into this dark place I just knew that I was there. Often I wonder if maybe I am to blame for being there, but I found out it was doing me no good to dwell on the how dids and the what ifs of life. I am not interested in getting all defensive either and telling folks not to judge me. Frankly it does not matter what folks say about you if their intention is not to help you. What I do know is that I did not intentionally toss myself into this pit. If I was at fault for being there, is was more an error of the heart and not the head. No one with a sound mind would ask to be placed in a dark, lonely, scary place.
And yes, life in the pit is just that. It is a form of prison but with no warden or guards to watch for your welfare. You are trapped in your mind and it may take you a few days, weeks, months, years.... to finally understand your real dilemma. I realized I was in the pit after several failed attempts to be my usual self. I had lost all interests in the things that use to matter. I use to enjoy praying and studying my bible but even that became a sad thing to do. Some days I made great process and I thought I would succeed until I would grasp for something that was not there and come crashing back to the bottom of the pit. Life in the pit is not easy and not easy to explain. At one point I was afraid to pray..literally. Why? Because each time I prayed I became so sad all I did was cry. I would cry and could not pinpoint the reason why. At first I though I was just into a form of worship.. (who knows maybe I did) and I felt like Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, but after a while I did not enjoy just crying all the time and I allowed that fear to push praying further and further away. And what was a pleasant past time became a hugh mountain because I prayed because I needed to not because I wanted to. Reading my bible would have a very negative effect on my thought life. Everything I read pointed to how far I was from God and the more I read it was the deeper I sank.
Life in the pit is a daily struggle and before long weariness started to set in. On those days I felt like David when he wrote in the Psalms, "Fear and trembling overwhelm me. I can't stop shaking. Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! " Psalm 55:6-7.
I want to express that when I speak of life in the pit, it is not to be confused with life in the wilderness. They are not the same place even though some symptoms of both may be the same.
A wilderness is a barren, deserted land left in its natural state. Figuratively speaking when Christians refer to a wilderness experience they are referring to a circumstance of loss, disappointment, heartbreak etc. The idea of being in a wilderness is that is should be a temporary junction between where you are coming from and where you are going. Like the children of Israel who travelled from Egypt through the wilderness to get to the Promise Land. In this place you can experience lonely and sadness as you work through whatever you are going through.
A pit however is different. Scriptures compares it to Hell. You may have heard of the bottomless pit. All throughout scripture David speaks of his soul being caught up in the pit, a place of so much loneliness and despair until he thought he would surely die. In the pit there is no vision... And without vision one is doomed to perish. Medically speaking a pit is often a place of depression. Of course a wilderness experience and lead you into a pit. Often this happens. Someone losses someone and the weight of the loss gets so heavy until they eventually falls into a pit. Maybe my pit journey started from a wilderness experience. Maybe I dealt too long on the losses I had in life and it eventually pushed me into this place, but I am telling you that both places are different. In Bible days they would roll a stone over a pit and use it as a dungeon for prisoners. A pit is a burial place... it is where you enemies hope you will die. It is where they want to silence you and hope that you will never live to speak another word. But it is also a place where God can have His Glory out of your life.
Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Psalm 69:15 (KJV)
I thank God daily for people He has placed in my life that constantly pray for me. When I too weak to do this on my own, there is always someone mentioning my name. I know this for a fact, not only because people occasionally tells me "I am praying for you" but because I see the results of their prayers in my life.
So the pit experience is awful and my energy is drained. I no longer have a vision or enthusiasm for anything. INDIFFERENCE - because my closest friend. Not good at all, because indifference is one of those "weights" that Paul talks about in scripture that can easily beset you. The good thing about this time in my life however is that I have a lot of thinking time. There is no one to talk to - except God - and since there is not much you can do in terms of productivity then you have a lot of time on your hands. This is where the rubber hits the road and you will know if all the preaching, singing and dancing were in vain. Do you really have faith or were you just following the crowd? Is God really real or is He just a hyped figment meant to brainwash you? Questions like these comes rushing in when you are in a pit and you will question every truth you have ever believed.
I have often heard the statement that you cannot truly discover who you are until you know who God is. It is one of those things you hear preachers speak that sounds good and it is easy to adapt but few take the time to understand its meaning. Well, it was while I was in the pit that the truth of this statement came rushing in. Because I had a hard time understanding why God would allow me to be in the pit in the first place. As far as I knew, I was walking according to His Will and doing what He commanded me to do. So why the pit?
So here is where my journey actually began... because I discovered that God wanted me to know Him.