I’m always the “let’s look at the bright side of things” girl. Maybe out of survival for all the things I’ve experienced or endured or maybe I was just born that way. Honestly, it’s probably a little bit of both. I’ve read Proverbs since I was a child, but as I approached it this time around there was one proverb that felt as if the type had been bolded just for me.
Singing songs to a troubled heart is like taking off clothing on a cold day or like pouring vinegar on soda. Proverbs 25:20
Sometimes, people don’t need an answer, or a solution or a “don’t worry, be happy” song. They just need someone to cry with. Solomon wisely explains that to a weeping person, stories of unicorns and daisies can be damaging and make things worse than they already are. I know that I don’t always enjoy it when someone brings sunshine to my rainy day. There are times I just need a short pity party. We certainly don’t ever want to take our clothes off on a cold day or pour soda and vinegar together in our kitchen so it explodes into a grand mess we spend hours cleaning. We want to bundle up in extra clothes on a cold day and do what we can to keep the kitchen clean so we have time for what’s important.
It occurs to me that Solomon’s illustrations are similar to Jesus’s teachings. Teachings filled with great illustrations of common things we can relate to that teach us valuable lessons.
We always hear, “Stay out or get out of the pit” it’s a dangerous place to go. Not surprisingly, I have a different angle on the pit. I’m all for the pit, with guidelines. I think we all reach a place now and then in life where we can benefit from getting in the pit and rolling around in our grief or misery. However, you can only go if you know you are able to get out after a few hours. You can’t stay. (If you suffer from depression – this is not for you – stay far way from the edge of the pit) It’s like a mini-vacation. . . . OK, a bad mini vacation where it rains every day and the food is yucky. If you stay longer than that, your misery and pain can become an idol that sits higher on your priority list than God.
Rules of Pit Dwelling: You have to know you are going and ask a prayer warrior to pray for you. For example: I will say, “Ok, Kirsten I’m in the pit today. Having a little pity party for myself and rolling around in my “yuck”, but I’m not planning on staying, redecorating and having cocktails. I just need to sit in this for a while, feel it and embrace it. I’m coming out tomorrow after God and I work through some things, but please pray for me and call me tomorrow and check on me to make sure I’m out”
Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
I don’t want her to talk me out of going. I don’t want her to tell me why I shouldn’t go. I just want her to pray for me and love me enough to make sure I climb out after the weeping. If you have never been in the pit, I envy you. If you have, I pray you can identify when you are in it and can climb out quickly after gaining strength through the Lord. If you ever sit in that pit, I pray you know it’s OK, you are only human and God is beside you, but please ask others to pray for you while you are there and hold you accountable to climb out quickly.
We can go there, but we can’t stay!