I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and he set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm”
When I was my son’s age I once tried to dig a hole to China. Believing such an act was possible, I had no idea that to dig a hole that far would take more than just a garden spade.
What I would quickly discover, however, is that by living in Florida (and three feet above sea level) I would also need perseverance and imagination. By the time I was up to my hips in my hole, I was already up to my ankles in water.
Now I watch my son Sean digging in yard. His latest creation is a carefully constructed “water park;” complete with multi-level pools interconnected by ziplines and water slides. It is a vision of real beauty and creativity. Yet, for some reason I can only see it as another hole to fill.
What it is about children and the need to dig holes? And why can’t they have this passion when it comes time to doing yard work or homework?
Metaphorically speaking, we human beings often dig holes for ourselves; financially, spiritually, mentally, etc. We are good at digging deep into relationships that are hard to get out of, or making life choices that feel impossible to escape. As a result, it is the dark, empty hole that gets the bad rap. Is this fair?
The Psalmist writes, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and he set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm” (Psalm 40:1-2). When we put our trust in God, we have a foundation to stand on, even in an endless pit. Tony Evens writes, “Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so that you will discover God is the rock at the bottom.”
God knows the holes we dig make us feel dark and alone. And God sent his Son to be “the light of the world, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Jacques Lussenyran, a French resistance fighter and author of And There Was Light, became blind at age seven. Ten days after his accident he made a great discovery. "I had completely lost the sight of my eyes; I could not see the light of the world anymore. Yet light was still there...The light dwells where life also dwells: within us."
In our dark holes, God is there, shining a light on us because we are alive even if we feel spiritually dead. Instead of thinking about our dark places that we create as something to avoid, perhaps we take a different direction and see them as a place to meet God in our vulnerability and weakness. Maybe we embrace them as they happen because they offer us a place to settle into prayer and listen in the silence for Gods rescuing words.
Through Jesus’ shining light God helps us to see these dark holes as places of refinement, resurrection and renewal. For it is only in holes do we find the roots of life itself, and the minerals and nutrients that feed us. Just as we have to dig holes to find oil, diamonds and other valuable resources, we also have holes to help us reconnect with God.
Jesus told the parable of the man who found a hidden treasure buried in a field; “then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Our Lord and Savior was placed in a hole, and three days later emerged alive and renewed. Our greatest fear, death, had been defeated.
As I stood and watched Sean slowly turn the color of mud, I realized all the best things come from the earth; including you and me. So if you find yourself in a hole, pit or rut just remember all the good things that God has already placed in there for you; including his beloved Son.
Prayer: Creator of the heavens and earth, you fill your creation with energy and light. Even as I sit in my darkest place, you allow a beam or two of you love to shine through to let me know you're there. Thank you.