Weíre stuck in that deep well again, surrounded by darkness. How do we get out? Do we even want to? We weep. And weep. Perhaps we will cry enough tears to fill the hole and bring us to the top. Instead, we choke and nearly drown. We scramble at the sides, pressing, pulling, scratching. We end up bruised, broken, torn, but nowhere nearer the top. We continue to stumble around the dark circle, only hurting ourselves more. We eventually run into something in the center. We discover itís a rope. We start to climb up. Itís so hard. We tire. We hurt. We canít pull ourselves out, no matter how hard we try. We fall back to the bottom, crushed yet again. We begin to think we are better off here Ė no risk in getting hurt again if we stop trying. We fall. But, as we fall, we stumble over something else in the center. Itís at the end of the rope. We feel around in the dark and realize itís a large overturned bucket. Is this a way out? We try yanking on the rope. We try to figure out how to use the bucket to help us climb. We get nowhere. We sit on the bucket and cry. We get angry and kick it around the pit. It lands face up, back in the center. We realize thereís no way out. This is something we just canít do on our own. We plop back down. The ground is hard and cold. The walls are uninviting. Sitting there empty, the bucket seems more appealing than our current spot. Thereís nowhere else to go. Nothing else to do or try. We climb in to rest, surrender, and just be still. That is when it moves. Jesus Christ pulls us up, all the way up, out of the darkness, and into his light.
Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.