He landed with a hard thud as his body hit the bottom of the pit. While dazed and confused he quickly moved to the side as a shower of dirt and rocks were kicked down upon him. He did his best to minimize the damage from the falling debris but was powerless to avoid the angry voices that spit insults, ridicule, and malicious taunts.
Just as he believed that the hatred would never relent, the abusive assault began to dwindle and he could hear their footsteps shuffle away. Before long abandoned silence filled the air and its effect gave birth to a new kind of fear.
Slowly pushing himself up he began to feel the bruises where their violent hands had taken hold of him. Now standing he cried out, but there was no answer. Again he wailed but to no avail.
Panic rushed through his consciousness as he became acutely aware of his exile. Why would his brothers do such a thing? What had he done to deserve their hatred and despise?
Dazed and confused he leaned against the cold damp wall of the pit, praying that he would be able to crawl out before night fully fell upon him.
Wiping the blood-mingled dirt away from his brow he looked upward. Slowly his eyes grew accustomed to the dark, but his heart sank further into despair when he saw that there were no footholds for him to grab onto.
- Hatred, pain, betrayal, abandonment, and helplessness were just a few of the delegated emotions that Joseph experienced in a fraction of time.
Joesph’s attackers gave no regard to his feelings, well-being, or future. Sadly he had become a victim and it appeared that he had been forced into a position that offered no escape. Worst yet, leaving his only hope to reside in the hands of his abusers.
This account of Joseph’s pit experience, Genesis 37:19-24, marked the beginning of a long walk through a valley of shadows for him. Shadows that left him to face a future of uncertainty.
- I am sure that while he layed at the bottom of the pit, broken and wounded, he never imagined that his dilemma would lead to good.
- As Joesph was being lead away into slavery, it is fairly certain that he didn’t envision being the chief overseer of a high ranking Egyptian officer’s estate.
- While he sat in a cold prison cell, wrongly accused, I wager that it never entered his mind that one day he would wear the signet ring of Pharaoh, become the second most powerful man in Egypt, and successfully lead a nation through a seven year famine. Genesis Chapter 37 – 41
- It is a fact that Joseph was no stranger to abusive situations but through every experience he was able to rise above the unfavorable circumstance.
Joseph knew that he had no control over what others inflicted upon him, but learned that control itself… had not been completely stripped away. Yes he had become a victim, but the decision to remain one was completely under his control.
Joesph realized that there are two choices that can be extracted from a pit experience. One choice leads to bondage and eventual destruction, and the other leads to freedom and growth. He chose freedom and growth, and it set him on a course that eventually benefited an entire nation.
- When in the midst of a trial it is difficult to think about making decisions let alone taking steps to move through it.
Pain can be immobilizing, causing deep grief and weeping. This is a normal response and grieving is a necessary component in the healing process. However, grief and weeping is meant for a season. We are not to “camp” there indefinitely.
- Staying at the bottom of the pit is not where we’ll experience deliverance and healing. You have a choice to make.
Choice #1: Let nature take its course
The only comforts that resides in the pit are instruments of bitterness, anger, callousness, revenge, resentfulness, and hate. These natural emotions are triggered reflexes brought on by being ill-treated. Though justified, these emotions perpetuates the continuance of victimization, but not from the hand of the attacker or the “situation“, but rather by our own.
Permiting these negative emotions to continue unrestrained, we arbitrarily placed ourselves into bondage, and are held captive by the past and unable to move into a healthy mindset. If allowed to maintain their natural course they will act as a compass that may navigate towards emotional destruction in which we will never experience “full” healing.
- Pit experiences often come out of no where and do not require any action on our part to be “thrown” into it, however, action is required in order for us rise up out of it.
Choice #2: Yield and Surrender
The first steps towards healing and deliverance starts by surrendering. This requires giving the darkness of the pit and everything in it to God. It will take a conscience effort in faith and trust to place your pain into the hands of God, and chances are it will not be a one time offering.
Giving over your “right” to anger, resentfulness, bitterness, revenge etc.. requires yielding your will. By doing this you exchange control from your will to God’s will. You’ve now entrusted God to be the owner of judgement which releases you to step into faith and trust setting the ability to forgive in motion.
- Forgiveness is not singlely dispensed on the perpetrators of pain.
Forgiveness is often thought of as being one dimensional, but its not. Exercising forgiveness releases you from the harmful emotions that can rob you from the freedom of the pit and will also;
- Create an open vessel that God can fill with the neccessary components that lead to healing.
- Begin an upward journey where you will emerge stronger then you were when you entered it.
- Increase in faith, empathy, wisdom, security, trust and a deeper relationship with God.
This is where you will not only experience victory over the pit experience, but what you learn through it will become invaluable.
- Pit experiences are unfortunately a fact of life.
Some pits are deeper and darker then others, but all contain pain. However, there is no pit dark enough, deep enough, painful enough, to prohibit God from supplying comfort, strength, healing, restoration, and victory.
May you find the “Joseph” in you and emerge a victorious overcomer that may benefit many from your journey experience. The choice is yours.