Coffee Pods, Pits, and Parking Lots
During this long winter, that never seems to end, I got into the habit of having a cup of coffee in the evening. Because my husband wouldn't have any, I began to use coffee pods. One of my favorites is Blind Dog's Nevada Black which I would grind and use in my pods. You could say using coffee pods was kind of a pit I fell into during a horrendous winter, unlike we have had in Nevada for a very long time. This pit of winter really called for coffee in the cold evenings. This was a pit I did not mind being in at all because it gave me great comfort and helped me end each day on a warm, delicious note.
Unfortunately for the human kind, though, we live in an evil, dying world that is covered with sin and the pits we can fall into can be deadly. They can take our lives, steal our time, family, money, happiness. There is not a time in any ones mind when you can't remember, name, detail, a time you were in a pit.
I recently had coffee with my best group of friends. These friends are the type that will walk with you through any hardship, pray with you in struggles, and laugh at you and mock you when you spill your water on the coffee house floor, and not even get up to help! Well, maybe they did offer once I was done cleaning!!! There are truly no greater friends than these. At this time in their lives, many of them seem to be in a pit. They are struggling in marriages, with jobs, finances, children, finding peace. They are hard workers struggling with demands on their time, confidence in their work, peace in their relationships. They are in a pit! But the thing I want to share with you about them, though, is that they are not parked there.
The reason they are not living in the parking lot of their pit is because of their great faith in the One True God. The key to getting out of the pit and not parking in it is faith. Faith does not make things easy, but it does make them possible. It doesn't mean you will never end up in a pit, but it does mean that you will not stay in the pit. It does mean that having faith in God and calling out to Him while in the pit will get you results. The story in Genesis of Joseph and his brothers tells us of the pit he was in. In fact, he was thrown into the pit by his brothers because he was the most loved by his father. They just didn't like the dude. He would tell them about his dreams, they hated him more. He would check on them for his father, they despised him for it. He wanted to tell them stories, they wanted to toss him into the pit and lie to their father about what had happened. But God loved Joseph and Joseph showed great faith. Faith got him out of the pit, although into another situation. Trusting God and having faith got him out of the pit of prison when he was falsely accused. Faith put him in charge of Egypt when he interpreted dreams for the Pharoah. But each time these things happened it was because Joseph gave all the glory to God and never lost faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, "Now without faith it is impossible to please God since the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who serve Him." Joseph believed, so intently, in God that he was rewarded in each circumstance.
Let me tell you about the faith of my dear, sweet, girlfriends. They understand and know that faith is their responsibility. They know that they cannot simply sit around, in the pit, and grumble and moan. They know that they cannot park in their pit and wait for God to take care of their circumstances. So, while in their pit they build their faith. They do this on a daily basis by reading and studying. They pray fervently and listen for the Holy Spirit to lead them in their struggles. They fix their eyes on Jesus and trust Him even on the days when they don't feel like it. On those days, they reach out for prayer on their behalf. They ask for advice, seek Godly counsel, have coffee with a believer who will proclaim the word of God to them rather than talking to "people" about their problems more than they talk to God.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. (Ps. 46:1) Our faith in God will lead us out of the pit of our struggles, but it is up to you to have the faith. If you really want a different life, if you really want to climb up out of that pit, you have to have a different mindset, you have to use faith. The enemy is very near when you are in the pit. He wants the storm to get you to lose sight of Jesus and lose your faith. But, Mark 10:52 tells us, "Go, your faith has saved you." The gracious calls Christ gives us to come to him, encourage our hope, that if we come to him we shall have what we come for. He calls us to come to Him in sickness, relationships, loss, grief, and happy times as well. When your spirit sits in that pit, the enemy will make you think that it can't get any better. He will make you fearful of what "could" happen, "might" happen. Where God gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor: 15:57)
If our choice in each pit is to sit in the parking lot, we will never see the victory. God wants us to go through the valley in order to see the victory. God can get you out of that pit, for if God is for us, who can be against us. (Rom. 8:31) We must build our faith in waiting for God to get us out of the pit. We must continue to build up our faith in waiting or the enemy will be right there making us give up. This mindset can be difficult. You cannot ask God to do something and then not believe that He is going to do it. You must get doubt out of the way, get it out of your mind and get the people who speak doubt out of your presence.
Watching these ladies walk through their struggles with Jesus is a glorious sight. They cry, they plead, they ask for rescue. But they also laugh, pray, study, share, listen. They ask to hear the Holy Spirit speak to them and they follow what they hear. They don't give up when they have asked to be rescued over and over again because they know their prayers will be answered. These beautiful ladies continue to shine the light of Jesus wherever they go and in what ever they do and in whatever they speak. They show others what it looks like to have faith in Jesus. Others need to see Jesus work through us to the end, and these ladies walk with the grace that is given to them by our Heavenly Father.
This is how I know they have such great faith. It is written all over them. They do not allow their emotions to guide them through the challenges. They step up! They worship in the hard times! The laugh when things are difficult! They love deeply and share love! There is a story of a donkey who was thrown into a pit because he was injured and his master decided it was easier to throw him in and cover him than to continue on with him. As the master continued to throw dirt in on top of the donkey, the donkey continued to move over and then climb on top of the mound. Soon, the master noticed the donkey was climbing out of the pit. This is what our faith does. Rather than lie in the parking lot of the pit we must climb up on prayer, worship, study. We must confess our faith to God and let him see how much we trust in him. We must continue to climb up when he gives us words we are reading that apply to our situation, a treat from a friend when we are low, a day with your child that makes you smile. Climb up on top of these things and see God's glorious face shining down on you. He is holding you in the palm of His hand working all things out for His good.
If you are in the pit, grab your favorite hot beverage and sit down with God and talk to him about your faith in him. Listen to Him as he reveals to you his plans. If you are not sure about your own faith, reach out to someone you know, contact me at this site, seek out a local church. God is ready to help you climb out of the pit.