You are in a pit so deep you cannot see the Light any more. Years ago, you made a decision that put you here today and pride has become your cement overshoes. Someone hurt you, and as a result every decision, since that day, has caused a shovel full of dirt to be removed under your feet. Your shoes are heavier than ever before. It is not your fault, or so you have convinced yourself, it’s their fault but they are not in this pit with you which makes you angrier. No matter, your think, you are still down in this deep cold lonely hole in the ground with cement overshoes. The darkness is blinding so even if you aren’t alone you cannot see them, but you know they are there. The darkness is closing in on you squeezing the life out of you. The sweat of fear is pouring down your brow but you can’t move your arms. Even if you could move your arms you haven’t a cloth to wipe it with. You have lost everything even the coat off your back. The cold is inside your heart. Your heart is in a deep freezer with the lid closed and locked. It wasn’t a quick freeze. It took decades of digging this pit to get down below the frost line. Every shovel full of dirt caused your heart to harden just that little bit more. Your heart is so hard with frost bite it could break into a thousand pieces with one tap of a hammer. Any word from any person is an affront to your personhood. You have become sensitive to life. It is running you down and you just don’t think you can handle one more day. You weren’t meant for this day. You constantly ask yourself, “What happened? What brought me to this point in my life?”
God is what happened! God brought you to this point in your life because He is qualifying you for the ministry He has assigned you for. Those cement overshoes you wear need to be broken off. Each swing of the hammer hurts but each swing shows you how qualified you are for the pit. Qualified to encourage your brethren. Qualified to see the need. Qualified to fulfill the need. Qualified to cry with your brethren. To be qualified you need to know you are just like me, human, broken, tattered, mistreated, lost, ignorant, prideful, human! Humility comes from knowing this. Humility comes through crying, falling, dead end streets and face plants. The world says we are qualified with higher education but God qualifies us with lower education. He lowers us down into the pit one shovel full at a time until we are qualified to come out. This is completely the opposite of the world. The world wants graduates while God wants students. When we are in the pit, we will do anything to get out including become a student of the Lord. When we become a person willing to learn, we then become qualified. There is no graduation party. There is no degree. Just you, grabbing the Hand that beckons you from deep within the pit.
Maybe Jesus didn’t have to bury you alive to qualify you. Maybe He just made you feel like you were buried. Maybe the pit was metaphorical because Jesus needed to qualify you for your ministry. Maybe you were born with cement overshoes. Whether your pit is real or metaphorical, the pit is the frat house we all belong too, with the Alpha Omega as its President. Every person who has a calling from God is an alumnus. Some of us are still living in the house of the Alpha Omega while others are the alumni helping you graduate.
When we were in the pit ourselves, we saw others at the top but we couldn’t reach their outstretched hands, as much as we wanted too. They were not qualified to pull us out only the President is qualified. He has the power to pull us out or to leave us in. He can either throw a ladder down for us to climb, or He can throw one rung at a time. He is in control of the student’s education. You will graduate from this pit when your training is complete qualifying you to walk worthy of your calling. This is your choice. Will you begin walking worthy of your calling or will the President of our frat house have to knock his pledge back down into that pit for some more training. I am fresh out of my last pit but the remnants of it still exists. It haunts me sometimes but the Lord has again made a way out of my temptation to go back into training. Each trip into the pit He gives you a way out but each trip into the pit makes me strong enough to use His way out.
Ephesians 4:1-6 has Paul beseeching us to walk worthy of the calling for which we have been called. The calling in which Jesus is making us qualified for minus the pride. The pledge is the prisoner of the Alpha Omega and He is training us to be worthy of His calling on our lives. He teaches us to be able to walk in our calling with lowliness and gentleness and with longsuffering. While we are in our training, we see others in training and others who have graduated. While we are in the pit, we commiserate with our fellow pit dwellers. We despise those we see walking freely above us. Our pride will not allow us to see they are just like us and they truly want to help us. We do a happy dance when we find out they are in their own pit of training. These emotions belong to all of us and disqualify all of us from our ministry until we check them at the door, so back into the pit we go until we are able to bear with one another in love creating unity.
Our calling cannot be done by us alone. We need each other. I am currently walking worthy of my calling on my own but one day Jesus, the Alpha Omega, will provide a woman, out from her pit, to walk beside me while we blaze a new trail, cut out by Jesus Himself. He beckons me to throw away the shovel I use for digging pits and use the tools He provides. The tools He gives me to use qualifies me for my ministry but I am the one who has too keep picking them up. I do pick up the tools and my ministry is to show you the tools Jesus has provided for you to pick up. Those tools will make you qualified for your duties under the President of this fraternity house we call the Body of Christ.
Whether you are in the pit or out, the Alpha Omega has training specific to your calling and for you alone. No one goes through the exact same training. He qualifies you for that calling in His way so you can be of service to Him. The pit happens to the best of us who are already qualified for our ministry. The pit keeps us humble and dependent on the President of our fraternity. The Christian life is filled with training and God Himself is the Teacher. Your qualifications depend on no man. As long as you are in the Body of Christ you are qualified to go out on the mission field you are assigned. As long as you use God’s tools for His work you will go from pride to qualified, I promise.