When do you struggle the most emotionally? When do you feel like you’re at the bottom of a pit, battling the feeling of hopelessness that makes you want to give up? What triggers that for you?
For me, it’s thinking too much.
I was speaking with my friend Dave, who like me, journeyed through unemployment. He told me his most difficult moments came when he started overthinking. At those times, he felt like he was sinking in quicksand. There was no solid ground.
I’m a lot like Dave, but my phrase would be, “When I think, I sink!” I know, “I think, I sink” sounds like a Dr. Seuss book phrase, but it rhymes! I like things that are easy to remember. And it’s not just for the unemployed — it’s for all of us, everyday.
When I’m in that place, I start to feel like the Psalmist, who said:
“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”Psalm 69:1-4 NIV
How does this happen? How do I get into the pit?
I do it to myself — no one else to blame but me. I am by nature a “fixer,” someone who likes to solve problems for myself and others. When life gets stressful, I try to “figure it out” and solve whatever challenge presents itself on my own.
But life doesn’t work that way. Too often, I think life is logical.I think, If I just do this one thing, everything will be okay.
Or, If I don’t do this particular thing, the thing I fear won’t happen.
In trying to solve problems myself, I forget God and unintentionally try to be God. When I do, I go further and further down into the pit.
How do we get out of the pit?
We have to accept we can’t fix things ourselves. We have to remember God is on our side, and He can do anything.
We can cry out:
But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters. Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. Come near and rescue me; deliver me because of my foes.Psalm 69:13-18
We need to confess we can’t do it on our own and pray to God for his help.
When we call out to Him, He stands ready to hear our cry. He responds. He always does. He’ll partner with us, taking on the challenge we face together. And when we turn it over to Him, we experience that special peace that pulls us out of the pit — out of the quicksand. Remember you aren’t God, but you have a God who will help.
Call on Him!
When did you last “fall into the pit” by thinking too much? How did you get out?
Dale Kreienkamp is a keynote speaker, Human Resources consultant, and the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.