Summer is just winding down and one of my favorite memories is of sitting around a table with friends and family, eating crabs on the paper-lined table. I love crabs! But crabs are, well, mean. When you go crabbing you put a cage attached with string on the bottom of the bay or ocean floor. The top of the cage is open so crabs can crawl in. When the crabber pulls the cage up it automatically closes the cage to keep the crabs inside. The crabs climb into the cage on the bottom of the seabed and some crabs try to climb out. As tasty as crabs are, I want to cheer for them to break free; but the other crabs that are in the cage with them don’t want them to leave; they will pull them back down. If a brave crab tries to escape a second time, not only will the other crabs pull it back down, they will rip off a leg or two to keep it down in the pit with them.
Sometimes I feel that humans are the same way. They want to pull you down, keep you in your own pit. Often someone will say one thing but do another. They say, “I want the best for you”, but then turn around and say or do something despicable to pull you back down into your own pit. Our God has been so gracious and good to me during some really difficult times when I lived in that pit. I decorated it and made it into a comfortable space. I was comfortable in that pit for a long time, but not anymore. I am divorced, recovered from cancer, and in remission from MS. I still have life issues; like trying to deal with custody, working full time dealing with customers and team members and raising two boys. It’s difficult when I’m confronted with lies and mean-spirited talk and I find myself going right back into that space of feeling frightened and scared; that place where I feel hopeless. This is an easy place for all of us to fall back into; it feels like a comfortable space, even though it’s not at all comfortable. It’s familiar and that familiarity puts me into a place that I know; which is somewhat comfortable. Again, I was comfortable in that pit for a long time, but not anymore.
Psalm 40:2-3 (NAS): He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.
I am grateful that I know our Lord who plucks me out of my pit. “He lifted me out of the mud” and gave me a “new song”. I am a child of God and He fights my battles. He pulled, lifted, tugged and sometimes dragged me out of the pit to put me in a better place, a sturdy place, on a rock and not on sinking sand. I know that I can visit that pit that was my home for a long time and I can ask God to lift me out and leave it behind.
I want you to know that, when you are ready, you don’t need to stay in the pit anymore. I know it’s scary to leave some place that is familiar! But if you talk with God and ask him to help you, He will guide you to a better place. It might not be easier but it will definitely be better.
One of my favorite quotes is by Warren Buffet, “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.”
I’m no longer allowing people to push, pull or say something to put me in the pit. I am not going to make friends with the crabs that pull me down. But I will continue to be happy eating my share of crabs while laughing around a paper-lined table with family and friends as often as I can.