God’s Warriors and the Pit
In my darkest times, my mind creates a picture of something akin to a deep coal mine but it is cylindrical with no horizontal pathways. It is far too dark to look up and I cannot bear to look down. The coal dust is causing my eyes, nose, and lungs to burn. My body rebels and I am overcome with tears while my lungs labor to draw in breath. My battered body trembles with the effort to continue fighting for life, any kind of life. My fingers are swollen, twisted, and throbbing with pain at the effort of trying to breach the blackness. I tell myself to be strong and keep hoping that there is meaning and purpose to all of this. I tell myself I am not the only one suffering but such thoughts are fleeting as the darkness permeates my being. Soon, my heartbeat becomes thunder in my ears drowning out all reason and hope. My heart and soul cry out in a desperate voice.
“Why…why has God laid such a heavy burden upon my being?”
My ears ache with the effort of listening for his voice but all I hear is the muffled chatter of people beyond the blackness. They are speaking of someone in harsh whispers but I avert my attention, for I cannot bear to hear their cruel, thoughtless comments. I have seen their sideways glances and up turned noses. The sound of their clicking tongues is like breaking glass upon a frozen lake. They see the facade I present readily accepting the self-assessment of, “fine”. They refuse to see the darkness and pain threatening to extinguish my light.
Soon, being around others is far too agonizing because I do not have the energy to make them feel better about my pain. I do not have the strength to hold back the tears so they run unabated down my weary face. Can no one see, can on one hear, and can no one feel my pain? Surely, someone, anyone, will see beyond the transparent illusion. Can no one see me…me, not the fake they are all so willing to embrace? My soul is dying but it makes no sound, surely, God hears the ravages of my spirit. If no one else has the strength to look into the pit, surely, God will reach down his hand and embrace my battered body, soul, and mind.
As time passes minutes become days and years become moments and begin to learn that those around me exist on another plane of understanding. Through my suffering, God has revealed to me a greater knowledge, understanding, and faith than my scorners could ever possess. I can see things so much more clearly, because I see them with my soul’s eyes. The price is great and not many will be strong enough to endure the cost.
I also learn that God never leaves me alone in that pit, he is there cradling me, murmuring words of comfort and reassurance while breathing strength into my broken spirit. He knows what he asks of me and I see in his tender gaze that it pains him to allow such sorrow and agony to continue to visit my person. I am his little girl and he loves me, he created every fiber of my being. His eyes well with tears as he thinks of all the wonderful things he has planned for me and my soul is filled with the knowledge that my Father feels my pain. He understands how cruelly the world has treated me. His loving countenance requests my patience, my understanding, and my love. I fear that I haven’t the strength to continue…and yet I draw in a clear, clean breath as his next request sends a shudder throughout my body.
He tells me he can remove me from the pain I am in, he can supply me with all the comforts this world can offer, and he can take away the darkness so that it will never visit me again. Now, my eyes spill over anew at the thought of getting out of the darkness forever.
But then I look upon his face once more and see a multitude of sorrows and I know the cost for my freedom will be dear. He waves his mighty hand over the dark expanse allowing me to see shadowy figures of hundreds upon hundreds of children, women, and men ambling, stumbling, lost in the darkness. Instantly, I understand, I must endure the darkness I am in, learn how to cope with it, draw upon God’s strength, and find a way out because if I do not then those countless faces will be lost forever.
I now realize that I have never been alone, even in my most hopeless moments. My father was there, is here, now. He is with me, he embraces me, he showers me with his love, and he promises me that he is sending me help. He never expected me to go through this alone, he has always been there even when I could not bear to look, even when my anger consumed me, and my strength failed me. He is there and he is sending help, everyday. Tomorrow, it may come in the form of a songbird’s morning praise or in the words of a close friend but now; I know.
Millions of pinhole size openings begin to appear within the black walls that threaten to crush me. The wall still encompasses me but it is weakening with my every success. Each tiny opening floods the pit with its light and gives me strength. The pain does not leave me, the darkness will be ever present, but there is light, there is hope, for God will not abandon me to the night. His plans for me are great and the wisdom he has imparted to me brings those shadowy figures into the light. I see them a full now and I understand why I had to endure what I have and why I must continue to persevere. God is not malice, God is not cruel, God is not unjust. He molds us into the person he needs us to be and that is a painful process. He allows bad things to happen to his earthly warriors because in them wisdom is found. He understands we will waiver, he understands we will feel like giving up, he understands our confusion and anger, but he will never give up on us, for he created us fiber by fiber for this hour, for this battle, for this purpose.
We are not alone in this battle, we have him, and we have one another. He brings people into our lives for a reason. Some people will, unknowingly or with full knowledge, thicken the dark wall that threatens to destroy us but others will punch more holes in the wall. Every action taken against or for us causes the wall to weaken, even the bad things because a wall cannot stand against the ebb and flow of life’s events. One day, we will be surrounded with nothing but light knowing the battle has finally been won but not just for us.
You see, while we struggled to free ourselves from that ebony pit others found the strength to find their way out of their own private or public hells. It was our strength and wisdom gleaned from our struggles, which has helped them find the pinpoints of light in their own darkness. A chain reaction was put into motion that freed God’s children from the pain and suffering they endured. Our lives are not finite; for we affect so many others and they, in turn, go on to affect even more.
There is reason behind the insanity of pain and suffering. There is meaning to our pain that goes far beyond this world. God sustains us while Satan tries everything he can to crush us under the weight of his tyranny. The path we walk is filled with obstacles and at times, it feels as if the cross we bear will destroy us. Remember, Jesus stumbled with his cross because the weight of it overtook him and God sent someone to take it up for him. You see, even Jesus who had all of creation at his command, was sent help from the father. God sends soulful people to his children to help carry their burdens when the crushing weight of the world becomes overwhelming.
Every step we take either brings us closer to him or drives us further away. Every tear we shed, God is there to wipe it away. Every dark obstacle we encounter, God is there to illuminate them all. People who suffer in this world are God’s warriors, if they choose to take up their cross and follow. We are meant for a higher purpose than the pain that threatens to consume our souls. We are God’s first defense here on Earth. There is a battle between good and evil going on, unseen to the human eye, but the effects of that battle are clearly evident all around us. We have been called into God’s service and it is not an easy road to travel but we must or else the darkness wins. If the darkness can destroy us then it will take all who we were supposed to lead out with us. It is an awesome responsibility and your pain may be too raw in this moment to understand or to even try to contemplate the greater meaning to your suffering. However, there is one thing you must know and take to heart through all of this, God loves you, God Loves YOU and his heart aches when you are hurting. He is there to hold you gently and wipe away your tears until the sobs subside and your body stops shaking. He is with you every moment of every hour and he will never abandon you. He has tasted the bitterness of your suffering and his wrath will be dealt upon those who have harmed or caused harm to come to you. You are his, you always were, and he will ferociously defend his child.
I know it is dark, I know you cannot see beyond the walls right now, I know it is hard to move, breath, or hope within the confines of the pit. Look around you until you see it, the tiny pinpoint of light. I know it is there because God has sent me into your life and I am digging furiously towards you. The light will flood the darkness like sunrise and you will see that hope exists. You will not be lost to the night, for God has given you to me and I will fight for you. God loves you and nothing can ever change that fact. You are his beautiful creation who he so painstakingly knitted together in your mother’s womb.
Hope is very evasive when we see no end in sight. It is in these dark hours it helps to know there is a friend firmly grasping your hand.
My hand is extended…grasp it!