Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Are You Washed In The Blood"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 42:22 – But this is a people despoiled and plundered; All of them are trapped in holes, or are hidden away in prisons. They have become a prey with no one to rescue them, and a spoil, with no one to say, "Give them back!" (AMP)
Psalm 91:15 – When my followers call to me, I will answer them. I will be with them when they are in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. (ERV)
In Alaska, my father and my grandfather were prospectors, an occupation that required a lot of shoveling. I grew up accustomed to all the attitudes and language that go with this frustrating, hole-digging, way of life, especially when the usual disappointments came. That was when I tried not to be around.
A couple of winters ago, my new husband got our car stuck on a high ridge of ice. The wheels spun around uselessly. It wouldn't go backward or forward. "My goodness gracious!" he told me when he came in to get a shovel to chip away at the ice.
I was struck by his words! The only language that I'd ever heard anyone else use in a situation requiring quiet patience and hard work, rather than just kicking the car and blaming it, was of the @#%&! variety. With no one around but me to hear, he could've taken out his frustration with colourful language, but that hadn't even occurred to him. He just said that he needed help.
Not everyone asks for help. I've been learning a song by Ewing and Hicks, about someone with a shovel, but "he can't dig out of the hole. Deeper and deeper he's goin' down, drivin' his future right into the ground." Someone said, The bottom is where I lay my shovel down, which means that sooner or later, I come to the end of myself, of all that I can do. I can't handle it, God. YOU take over, I pray.
Our importunity is God's opportunity, someone said. We all come to faith in different ways. Failing to dig ourselves metaphorically out of holes like addiction, financial ruin, or broken relationships that we've gotten into through sinful decisions arising from ego or misjudgment, sometimes is the first time that we clearly see our need of a Saviour.
I've tried, God. I can't forgive myself or save myself. I want to change, to learn, to grow in the Christian life, and to help others find the way out. I put my shovel down today. No more digging. I take Your hand and accept Your offer of forgiveness and salvation through Christ. Lift me up, out of this hole that I've dug for myself, and from today, may I look up and walk with You.
Prayer: Dear Lord of heaven and earth, we call to You broken, in tumult and strife. We cling to You for refuge from earth's lamentations. We have cursed, but now we repent, humbly claiming Your promise to make us a new creation. May we hear Your music ring an echo in our souls today, Your songs in the night. We lift our eyes from the hole into which we have dug ourselves, to accept Your glorious salvation. How can we keep from singing? Amen.