I came home from school and flipped the switch, but no light came on. With my backpack slung over my right shoulder, I entered the kitchen where my mother was and asked, “What happened to the light?”
I assumed she’d tell me the bulb blew out, but it was worse. Mom gave me a look and said, “The lights got turned off today.”
Growing up in a family rich in love but not in material resources, I was well-acquainted with financial droughts. Still, that didn’t make it any easier. There were about 9 children living at home at the time. I come from a family of 14. We didn’t have a whole lot of money. Dad was a pastor at a small urban ministry and a traveling evangelist. Mom stayed home to nurture us. The income simply wasn’t enough to cover the expenses. I vividly recall how eerie it felt walking around the house by candlelight in the evening with no power. Huge shadows on the walls looked scary as the flame flickered.
“Lord please don’t let the fire go out,” I’d pray as I walked slowly and deliberately, terrified that a cool draft would blow out the candle, and leave me in the dark.
That’s the word that best describes moments like that, not just literally, but figuratively, too. Hardship makes it feel like the light has gone out in your life. The sun seems like it doesn’t shine as brightly. When you’re shrouded in pain, dark clouds seem to follow you everywhere.
Though I thank God for every experience and the ways in which each one has molded in me, I can’t deny how hard it felt. Midnight experiences are unpleasant, but we all have them. Our stories aren’t the same, but each of us has struggled in some way.
The prophet Jeremiah most certainly did, especially when he found himself in literal darkness. He was lowered down into pitch black dark dungeon by force for prophesying against Judah. No one wanted to hear Jeremiah’s message of divine judgment but his persistence in preaching wasn’t quite what got him thrown into that pit.
What landed Jeremiah there was the controversial nature of the message God directed him to deliver. Jeremiah told Judah to surrender to enemy forces if they wanted to survive the conquest. There was no escaping the people of Babylon God was using to judge Judah, so the Lord said they should willingly give themselves over.
In Jeremiah 38, four of King Zedekiah’s top officials got truly upset about this and insisted that Jeremiah be killed. The king told them, “He’s in your hands,” essentially permitting the officials to do whatever they wanted to punish him. That’s how the prophet wound up down in that pit within the prison quarters. He was lowered by ropes into a place where there was no water, only mud.
Here Jeremiah was, doing the work of the Lord, sharing the message God gave him, only to be left stuck in the mud. He was abandoned in darkness. He didn’t even have the luxury of candlelight! With no food, water, light , or any indication that anyone would return to rescue him, it looked like Jeremiah would stay stuck in the mud until he died.
But, no. God had a plan. The Lord moved on the heart of an Ethiopian man—a Cushite—named Ebed-melech to campaign for Jeremiah and keep the man of God from starving to death in a muddy pit. By God’s grace, King Zedekiah gave Ebed-melech permission to take thirty men and go fetch Jeremiah. They pulled him up.
Friend, God is pulling you up!
No matter what your pit is: a pit of sickness; a pit of lack; a pit of loneliness; a pit of depression; a pit of anxiety and hopelessness; a pit of weariness; you’re coming out of it. This pit cannot hold you.
Jeremiah’s rescuer, Ebed-melech’s name means “servant of the king.” He obeyed the orders of an earthly king. But there is one far greater than Zedekiah. Your Heavenly King, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who has authority over all things, has sent out a decree on your behalf.
He has ordained that you be released from this pit. Therefore, it cannot hold you. Nothing can stop God from lifting you up, restoring you and giving you the breakthrough you have been longing for. Right now, God is causing your circumstances to align with His will. He is causing others to bless you. He is causing all things to work for your good. This pit cannot hold you. This attack will not work on you. The limited power of the opposition is no match for the limitless power of the One who advocates for you. God has ordered your release.
To assure you that you can trust God to come to the rescue, I’m stirring Psalm 50:15 NLT into your cup of inspiration, which says, “Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory."
As you drink down the contents of your cup, get excited. You’re coming out of this. There’s a breakthrough with your name on it. No more being confined to this dark, low place, with no sign of deliverance. Today, hear God’s voice. Just as Ebed-melech called out to Jeremiah, God is calling out to you.
He’s saying, rise up! This pit cannot hold you.
Now let’s pray.
God, I have been going through dark times. It hasn’t been easy. Trouble has come to my door, but I choose respond in faith. I don’t know how You’re going to fix this or work it out, but I know You will. So by faith, I thank You for my supernatural release from this pit. I trust Your faithfulness and I am confident that, at the appointed time, You will deliver me. In Jesus’ name, it is done. Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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