Escape Your Pit

By: Marcy Barthelette
God found Gideon in a hole, Joseph in a prison, Daniel in a lion’s den. Next time you feel unqualified
to be used by God, remember: He tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal. Jon Acuff
This quote is apparently pretty well known and comes from a prominent author, motivational speaker, blogger, etc. I had heard neither the quote nor the author’s name until reading a recent devotional. That’s right, I’m an old school person who doesn’t keep up with all the social media hoopla. Yes, I use the internet and my iPad daily so I’m “sorta” tech savvy but there’s a very noticeable gap between myself and millennials or even Gen Xers. But when I see a quote that reeks with possibilities for a new article, I grab it and let my imagination run.
So let’s turn to the Bible for a little refresher about these three men, Gideon, Joseph, and Daniel, who were just ordinary guys chosen by God to be part of extraordinary stories. Gideon was the smallest man in his family which was the smallest in their tribe and he was standing in a deep pit that had been dug to hide food from those who had overtaken the land of the disobedient Israelites. In these pitiful circumstances, God spoke to him and told him to lead an army against the aggressors. As you would expect, he objected, but with God’s help and some interesting battle strategy, Gideon’s army prevailed.
We know about Joseph’s coat of many colors, a gift from his father who favored him over the rest of his sons.
Joseph’s ten stepbrothers were jealous and they first plotted to kill him. Instead, they dropped him into a deep
cistern, whereupon they encountered a caravan of merchants and they sold their brother to said merchants. He
was later sold again to a man named Potiphar whose wife accused Joseph of rape and had him thrown in
prison. It was during this time that he became known as an interpreter of dreams and eventually landed favor
with emperor Pharaoh. When Joseph predicted 7 years of abundance followed by great famine, he and
Pharaoh begin an ingenious plan to save a portion of each year’s grain and store it for future use. The story concludes with Joseph saving Egypt and his family from starvation during the seven-year famine.
We all know that Daniel had to face a den of ferocious lions, but why? It seems the king of Babylon thought highly of Daniel and had appointed him as the leader of a select group of advisors who served the king himself. These men did not like Daniel and they asked the king to create a new law. It stated that any man found guilty of worshipping anyone other than the king would be sentenced to a one-way ticket into the lion’s den. When Daniel continued to worship God and refused to obey the new law, the king had no choice but to throw him to the lions, even though his heart was broken. Of course, God sent an angel to quiet the lions and Daniel walked free, much to the king’s relief.
These are brief and somewhat lighthearted glimpses into stories that happened a long time ago and helped weave the tapestry of our rich Christian history. But we still have plenty of pits today, very dangerous pits! In reading Jon Acuff’s blog I didn’t always respond to his approach but I found a couple of points that really resonated. I learned that he and I agree completely regarding internet behavior. Social media rule number 1; Think before you type! You are not anonymous! Your internet footprint is forever! Comments made carelessly can impact the lives of others, as well as your own life, in ways you least expect. Forever is a very deep pit and just one of many we can find ourselves in. There are countless others.
Lately, I’ve been digging my own very deep pit! I’m just plain tired of COVID 19! I want to go grocery shopping without fearing I may catch “THE VIRUS”. I surely need some time in the woods in our camper and a real vacation sounds somewhat like heaven on earth. My biggest wish is that I could spend time with my kids and grandkids. They all live away from here and all are working and involved in normal activities, thus they are exposed to other people who may have the virus. Ken and I are at high risk because of our advanced age and other issues, so the family as a whole understands, theoretically, that we need to keep our distance. But our hearts speak a very different language.
So, each morning I have to drag myself out of my deep, dangerous pit of discouragement and self-pity. Believe
me, I could lie there and wallow all day long but something gets me up, takes me out for a morning walk, tells
me to water my plants when rain becomes sparse and brings me back indoors to try and find new things to do
that will add a little spark of normalness to our lives. If I let my mind wander I can almost taste that delicious
blackberry cobbler shared around the campfire and made in the Dutch oven that we gave our daughter a few
years ago. Now that was a gift that keeps on giving and maybe one day, we’ll share another cobbler.
For now, I’m reminded of another of Jon’s quotes that stirred my resolve; “Pivot, Don’t Panic.”
Pivot; make a small course correction and maybe some tiny thing that I say or do can help someone else climb out of a self-made pit. Pivot; and maybe a really nasty day can become a thing of beauty. Pivot; and maybe someone can see a little of Jesus in me. That’s why I have to get up in the morning. I have a very important job to do and so do you. So, whatever pit you find yourself in, claw your way to the top and invite the Holy Spirit to flood your being with hope and possibilities. You’ll be glad you did and remember to “pivot, don’t panic”.
Like the guide who knows the only way out of the caves, God guides us through life. He’s the One who knows
the pitfalls and dangers, and He’s the One whose voice we can trust and listen to. Soul Fuel, Bear Grylls
Your potential is the sum of all the possibilities God has for your life. Charles Stanley
Notes: (1) Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of six books. For over 20 years he’s helped
some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story. Most recently he’s spoken at conferences, colleges,
companies and churches. See more at
(2)The full stories of Gideon, Joseph and Daniel can be found in Judges 6-7, Genesis 37-39, Daniel 6.
(3) The portions of this article regarding COVID 19 sound a lot like Pastor Sarah’s sermon from Sunday
morning. The truth is I write my articles the week before they appear in the Gatepost so this was
completed before Sunday. I can only assume that God thought we needed a double dose this week
and it isn’t the first time this has happened. Sometimes it takes more than one messenger!

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