I got stuck in a pit last week. Yes, literally.
My daughters are in gymnastics class, and my youngest, not quite old enough for the preschool class, is in the mom and tot class.
Mom and tot gymnastics class with a two year old is, well, I’ll just say it, exhausting. It may be the most exhausting part of my week. It is 45 minutes of hopelessly begging my child to do what the coach is asking her to do, and thank goodness I’m not the only one. I look around the room and can’t help but giggle as the other mothers tiresomely chase their tots from station to station. Then, at the end of class, as a reward for their “hard work” the kids get to play in the pit.
The pit is a giant pit filled with foam blocks. It even has a big slide that leads into it. This is definitely my two year old Sydnee’s favorite part of gymnastics.
We held hands, counted to three, and jumped in, sending the cushiony foam blocks rebounding up to our necks. We buried our bodies beneath the blocks, giggled as we tried to walk through the sea of foam, and laughed from our bellies up as we threw the blocks at each other.
It was fun! Great fun… until it was time to get out. The coach called the class to get out so I lifted Sydnee up to the edge and told her to wait right there for mommy.
Then, I planted my hands firm on the side of the pit and attempted to hoist myself out. Only gravity pulled me back in. I quickly got up and looked around to see if anyone saw me. How embarrassing! I remembered my sister-in-law telling me that she got stuck in that same pit when she was pregnant with her second child, but that was kind of cute and definitely excusable for a pregnant woman.
What was my excuse? I should be able to get myself out of here. I have been working out!
Okay, here we go. Second attempt. I planted my hands firmly on the side of the pit and pushed myself up again. The mat that I was putting all of my weight on gave way over the edge, and down again I went.
By this time I had an audience. Now the entire class of moms and tots was lined up right in front of me, watching this pitiful struggle. I’m not sure if the looks on their faces were pride or pity; maybe both. Either way, I was humiliated.
I looked up and saw a hand in front of my face. My daughter’s coach stood in front of me with an outstretched arm, ready to pull me out. I grasped her hand and as she hoisted me up and out my body flopped onto the mat in the most ungraceful manner possible. I didn’t even care at that point. I was just happy to be out of that pit.
The next week I was sure not to even go back into the pit. I avoided it at all costs and made my friend go in to catch our girls at the bottom of the slide while I helped them climb the slide’s ladder.
And in case you are wondering, yes, I am able to laugh at myself now even though this ranks toward the top of my most embarrassing moments. But I am not just sharing this story because I hoped it would bring a smile to your face or at least make your feel better about yourself. I am sharing it because of the way it parallels our rescue from the pit of sin by Jesus.
The hand I grasped to rescue me from the pit is a symbol of Jesus hoisting me out of my pit of sin many years ago.
Before being rescued from my pit, it was actually the thing I looked forward to. It was my reward at the end of a long hard week. Something I couldn’t wait to jump right into.
It was fun! Great fun…until it was time to get out. I came to the point that I wanted out, but I kept getting pulled back in by the gravity of culture and the acceptable norm. And many excused it; we were young and just having fun.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t lift myself out. Not on my own. I desperately needed help.
That’s when I looked up and saw the hand of Jesus, my Savior, whom I had met many years earlier. He grasped my hand in his and said, “You are my child. You don’t belong in a pit.” Then he hoisted me up and put my feet on solid ground. After that, I was very careful not to go back in, and soon, time in the presence of my God was the thing I looked forward to most.
I am not sure where this story finds you. Maybe this story is a reminder to reflect on your own rescue from the pit and praise God for coming to your aid.
Maybe, you have been rescued from the pit, but you, along with the rest of us, still find yourself slipping into pot holes or mud puddles. Even the most mature Christians can slip into mud from time to time. We as Christians are not exempt from sin, but as we walk closely with Jesus, our rescue is quicker. He is able to reach out and grab our hand before we sink too deep. Maybe you just need to reach out and grab his hand today, and ask him to help you stay out of those pits.
Or perhaps you are in a pit that you cannot climb out of on your own. Maybe the gravity of culture and the acceptable norm just keep pulling you back in. If this is you, I implore you to look up and take hold of the scarred hand that is reaching down to pull you out. Jesus is our rescue from the pit!