Today’s Truth

You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 18:28

Friend to Friend

Have you ever received a gift that you wanted to return … but couldn’t? I certainly felt that way about the pit of depression the first time I experienced it. First of all, I did not see depression as a gift. Second, I wanted to take that nasty black hole to the nearest “Pit Store” and exchange it for a tall mountain of victory.

But I have finally come to the place where I thank God for what He has done in my life through my struggle with depression. I now realize that anything that makes me cry out to God can be counted as a blessing.

We all have a pit of some kind in our lives. Oh, your pit may not be depression. It may be an addiction you find impossible to conquer on your own. It may be a difficult relationship or a life plan gone wrong. Maybe a diagnosis of cancer or a chronic physical disease keeps you broken.

You may wonder if God is aware of or even cares about your pain.

He does. I know He does because I am what you might call a seasoned “pit dweller.” As a result, I want to share some of the truths I’ve learned along the way. They have literally changed my life. I hope they are helpful to you.

Pits are a certainty. Hard times will come. Darkness will find us. We will, at some point in our lives, find ourselves in a pit of some kind. It may be a pit that we have dug with our own hands through wrong choices and foolish decisions. It may be a customized sinkhole prepared for us by the enemy himself. But a pit is a pit. And all pits are basically the same – dark, lonely, and filled with ugliness and pain.

Pits have a purpose. Every pit comes to us for a reason. The darkness often comes to strengthen us. Our struggle to escape that darkness forces us to admit our insufficiency and search for power outside of our own. Pits have an amazing way of bringing balance to life: a balance between sorrow and joy, between darkness and light, between faith and doubt, between weakness and strength. A friend recently sent me the following note that reminded me of this powerful truth:

God found Gideon in a hole. He found Joseph in a prison. He found Daniel in a lion’s den. He has a curious habit of showing up in the midst of trouble, not the absence. Where the world sees failure, God sees future. Next time you feel unqualified to be used by God, remember this: He tends to recruit from the pit – not the pedestal.

Pits demand that we change our perspective. They make us stop and scrutinize priorities, eliminating the trivial and focusing on the important. We get into trouble when we give in to the demands of the urgent instead of taking the time to focus on what is really important. Pits give us new eyes and a heavenly focus.

Now here is some good news! You can get out of the pit. The most important lesson I learned while sitting at the bottom of the pit of clinical depression is to never give up hope. I made it out of the pit … and so can you!

The path may seem endless and even cruel at times, but you must be patient. You did not slip into that pit overnight, and you will not climb out of that pit overnight. The journey out of the pit begins and ends with one small step of faith. Walk straight ahead through your fear. And with each step, moment-by-moment, the darkness will slowly begin to lift.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You – helpless and alone. The darkness is overwhelming and no one seems to understand. I am desperate for You and the healing that I know can only be found in You. Lead me, Lord. Teach me, Father. Right now, I surrender to You and the plan You have for my life. By faith, I thank You for the pit in my life that makes me cry out to You.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV) “I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”

  • Record Psalm 40:1-3 in your journal. Circle each action word such as “waited.”
  • What actions does God ask you to take to get out of your pit?
  • What does God promise to do in your life when you take those actions?
  • Are you ready to step out in faith and trust God to deliver you from the pit of darkness in your life?

More from the Girlfriends

If you or someone you love struggles with depression, Mary’s book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, offers practical steps you can take to experience God’s deliverance from that pit and live a life of victory.

Be sure to check out the FREEBIES on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

9 Responses to “The Power of the Pit Part 1”

  1. Meg says:

    Mary, thank you so much for sharing this. I copied the note from your friend and the paragraph after that as it really struck a chord. I struggle with illness, which leads me to feel like I’m letting people down. I have found myself in a pit of despair because of not being able to attend family and/or friend functions. I pray daily to be cured, if it’s His will; if not, for the strength to get through it. How do I not feel so sad about missing so much? Others my age are doing so much. I know I’m not to compare, I know I’m to be joyful no matter the circumstance because I have Jesus, I know all that, but my heart still hurts and I feel so broken. Thankfully, God has led me to some very good doctors who do all they can, to eat right, to exercise, etc., but I still continue to get worse. I appreciate your prayers. I have a number of your books and they are helpful. Thank you again.

  2. Bettie says:

    Thank You Greatly for your Blog & Devotionals May God continue to use you!

  3. Dee says:

    “God recruits from the pit not the pedestal.” POWERFUL!!!

  4. Chris says:

    Thank you Mary!! I really needed this today. I have been praying for my marriage to be restored and have been very discouraged. This really helped me.

  5. Yolanda Healy says:

    Dear Meg,
    although I don’t know you personally, I can imagine your pain and despair. I live in Florida and have a friend that struggle with the same situation. Like you, she can’t attend church, and many of her family and friends gatherings or celebrations. Every Tuesday a dear group of ladies takes a Bible study to her house and fellowship with her. She is amazing and even help others with her testimony. I will bring your situation to our group and pray for you that the Lord continue giving you strength.

  6. Meg says:

    Dear Yo, thank you so much. That’s very sweet and thoughtful, and I appreciate it. I’m in Florida too, btw. I’m about to call my niece and her mom and explain why I won’t be attending the bridal shower. I’ve not been open with my family about what I go through, so this will be hard for me. I will also be calling my doctor today to discuss other options in hopes that there’s something else I could be taking to help me deal better. Thanks again!

  7. Kat says:

    Dear Mary, Meg, and Yo,
    Thank you so much for sharing today. I read this Psalm over and over daily. Like you both and your friend, I am in Florida and I’m in the pit too. I have been suffering physically and emotionally over a year now following complications from surgery. I have seen numerous specialists who all confirm my problems, have tried several treatments and procedures, without relief or cure. I wish I could find that specialist that will really take the time and listen. I too, am missing time with family and friends. It is hard to leave my house. I do find comfort in prayer and my daily GIG Devotional. Today’s Truth hit the spot, as Mary always does. I pray for you Mary, you Meg, Yo’s Friend, and for all the others out there in the pit. May they read this and feel comfort and hope.

  8. Cheryl says:

    Lord knows, I needed this on today!! Thank you so much for sharing Mary. I felt like I was riding on a smooth road and all of sudden a giant pit was in the middle of the road and my car crashed. I feel like this is beginning to be another pit for me with my marriage. I saw some charges on the credit card of gifts that were not for me. I approached him about it, and he became very, very defensive and threatened to change information since I have a problem with what’s in his account. I feel like someone dropped me in this huge hole and ONLY God can deliver me out of it. I don’t understand, but your words were so encouraging.. There is purpose in the pit, especially when it drives us to draw closer to God. You see, I know that is true because I normally struggle with fasting, but Today was NO STRUGGLE!! I hate that I am in this pit but it is pushing me closer to my Heavenly Father. All I know to do is Rely and Trust in Him!!

    Again, thanks for sharing.

  9. Please Pray says:

    To those who have left comments-you seem like a nice people and I am in desperate need of your prayers. Would you please pray for me? God knows the details. And I desperately need His answer and help. I am in a deep pit of depression and I don’t know if I need to close the door on some things in my life as I personally don’t know if I’m in the right place to handle them. I fear being alone, and hurting others through this. I honestly don’t know what to do. And my family despise my decision to follow Christ. Please keep them in your prayers. For protection and salvation.

    God bless you girls

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