We’re stuck in that deep well again, surrounded by darkness. How do we get out? Do we even want to? We weep. And weep. Perhaps we will cry enough tears to fill the hole and bring us to the top. Instead, we choke and nearly drown. We scramble at the sides, pressing, pulling, scratching until our fingers bleed. We end up bruised, broken, torn, but nowhere nearer the top. We continue to stumble around the dark circle, only hurting ourselves more. We eventually run into something in the center. We discover it’s a rope. We start to climb up. It’s so hard. We tire. We ache. We can’t pull ourselves out, no matter how strong we think we are. We fall back to the bottom, crushed yet again. We begin to think we are better off here – no risk in getting hurt if we stop trying. We fall. But, as we fall, we stumble over something else. It’s at the end of the rope. We feel around in the dark and realize it’s a large, overturned bucket. Is this a way out? We try to figure out how to use the bucket to help us climb. We get nowhere. We sit on the bucket and cry. We get angry and kick it around the pit. It lands face up in the center. We realize there’s no way out. This is something we just can’t do on our own. We plop back down. The ground is hard and cold. The walls are uninviting. Sitting there empty, the bucket seems more appealing than our current spot. There’s nowhere else to go. Nothing else to do or try. We climb in the bucket to rest, surrender, and just be still. That is when it moves. Jesus Christ pulls us up, all the way up, out of the darkness, and into his light.
Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. Psalm 107:10-14