Sunday, July 15, 2012

In the Pit

Remember the saying, ”life’s a bowl of cherries”?
Now, I don't know who quipped this, but apparently he or she never ate from that bowl. For, if they had, they would have discovered that life is often filled with pits!
I’ve been thinking about Joseph in the Bible. How his jealous brothers ganged up on him and threw him into a literal pit, while they noshed on lunch and decided what to do with him next.
You probably know what happens in the next chapter. Slave traders come by and his thoughtful brothers sell Joseph to them. The slave traders take him to Egypt where he is then sold to Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh. This positioning of Joseph in Egypt, is the placing of a sovereign piece in God’s massive puzzle, that when completed, will beautifully portray Joseph, saving many people alive.
I want to make a pit-stop though. Get right up close to Joseph’s pit experience and take a deeper look inside.
Here’s what we know from scripture.
“..they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. “ Genesis 37:23b -24
The first thing I notice is Joseph was stripped.
Taken away was the very thing that had forged his identity as the much cared for and beloved son of his father. Often, when we go through difficulties, we are stripped of those things that made us feel comfortable and secure. Whether emotionally or physically, trials can remove all the outer trappings we have been wearing, reducing us to the core of who we are. Stripped and bare, we can feel like Joshua: cold and exposed,
Next, the pit is described as empty. Nothing and no one was in there with Joseph. There are some things that we must each go through alone. Dark nights of the soul that only you can truly experience. Like little Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, who had the singular talk of getting the ring to Mordor. Some missions are solitary and can feel dark and lonely
Lastly, there was no water in this pit. It was dry. If there is one overriding feature of being in a pit, it is the feeling of spiritual dryness. A nagging thirst unquenched by dripping platitudes and sugary sentiments.
Water revives our bodies, and nothing but the Living Water of the Spirit of God will satisfy a soul in drought.
The  truth is, in reality Joseph was not naked, alone or about to die of thirst.
There was One greater than any human force Who was:

Covering:“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge;” Ps 91:4

Present:”Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall [fn1] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.” Ps. 139:7-12

Sustaining:The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Is.58:11
Sometimes when we feel like we are in a pit, we quickly reach hold of anything or anyone who will make us feel better quickly. Bad relationships, drugs, alcohol or other misused numbing agents, will only temporarily dull the pain and you will be digging an even deeper pit for yourself.
Resist escape from anything or anyone who will make you their slave.
Instead, wait. Look up just beyond the ledge of the pit, there is a Hand reaching down to you. Trust Him. Just grab hold and don’t let go. HE will do the rest.
Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.
*It’s been awhile since my last blog! We have been seeking advice and waiting on God to direct our steps in treatment. I will see a surgeon tomorrow to discuss that option as opposed to radiation. I was set to go to radiation, when the reports showed that the tumor is very close to my esophagus, posing a risk of serious damage with large doses of radiation. Smaller doses over a longer period of time are still an option and cut the risk factor down to 5%. ( man’s percentages not God’s!)
Surgery has never been presented as a option for me as I was stage 4. But now that only the primary tumor is seen, i may or may be a surgical 
If you feel led, please pray for wisdom and direction for Robert and I to know which path to chose.
As always, looking for His hand.
A shout out to my Irish lads and lasses who I dearly love!
U2 -Psalm 40 


  1. Jeremiah 15:16, "Thy words were found and I ate them. And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts. 17) I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, nor did I exult. Because of Thy hand upon me I sat alone, for Thou didst fill me with indignation. 18)Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Wilt Thou be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable? 19)Therefore, thus says the Lord, "If you return, then I will restore you..before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman."

    The secret to "returning" is that we have to "turn" again and again, over and over, with all diligence to the Lord, to the exclusion of everyone else. Failure to continue this quest with all focus is why we experience, "A nagging thirst unquenched by dripping platitudes and sugary sentiments." God alone is the stream of reliable living water. His promise is "I will restore you & before Me you will stand." The "stripping away of all that is unimportant & false" is what helps us learn to "extract what is precious from what is worthless." So much of what we focus on in this life is "worthless," destined to pass away in the end. "Extracting what is precious" makes me think of digging for gold in a mine. It takes a lot of work, but in the end, it is well worth the struggle. So, praying for your extraction to be plentiful. Love, Cathy T.

  2. I just saw this Lisa...I do pray for you often anyway, and I will be praying specifically for this request.
    In Him,
    Kelly Stevens

  3. Talk with you tonight and I had not read this yet, I have and will continue to pray for you, Robert and your whole family. I did not feel right asking you about yourself with others standing around, but just know I understand your need for wisdom in these decision, and only God's wisdom will do, not our opinions. I stand with you as a Princess warrior.
    Love you Lisa, JoAnn Edwards

  4. Praying for Gods mighty wisdom in the direction in which you should go- Lisa that you would know confidently His direction. As we continually look to God for a complete healing, may He each and everyday hold you, comfort you and encourage you in Him. Your blog so encouraged me today, for I have also been in the pit much like you feel and as we go through those lonely, dark times we can " march on my soul with courage" knowing "he will be the stability of our days." love you my dear and will continue to pray.....Jeanne Claycamp

  5. I will pray with diligence for wisdom for you and Robert. I heard a statement in recent months that has stuck with me and that I just love. I listen to lots of pastor's sermons and may have gotten it from one of them. "Stand still and wait for your marching orders." I so can relate. Thanks, Lisa, for being a blessing to me with your teachings. Toni

  6. Praying Lisa. Lots of love and thanks for this incredible devotional.

  7. I just found your blog. This post is great. We do all go through pits- thank God He is right there with us!

    My heart goes out to you in this time of trials. You will be in my prayers.

  8. Lisa, Ive wanted to talk to you for so long now. You know how much I love you and Im praying for you and your family. if you ever have the time. I love you and Im so grateful for the impact your life has had on mine.

    Beth Ellis

  9. you have been on my mind Lisa Furrow...and my prayers .....this is another Christian I have come has been a journey most awesome! "I stood a mendicant"...this the 2nd or 3rd video.

  10. His name is Steve Saint a Missionary " I Stood a Mendicant of God" this is the continuing saga, following other Christians and hearing what they have learned...helps me too.