Just yesterday, my ministry partner Jack McIntosh called to tell me that one of our new baby calves had fallen into a ditch and could not get out. Apparently, the root system of a very large tree that had fallen years ago, had finally rotted and the ground around it just gave way and made about a twelve foot deep pit—one that we had not seen until Jack saw the mama looking down into the pit calling out to her troubled and helpless baby.

The pit was more than just a hole in the ground, it was more like a hole ‘under’ the ground. Just driving by it in the truck, everything looked fine. But, when we looked closely, there was just a shell of dirt and grass which looked solid, but in reality was not thick enough to hold anything up. One step in the wrong spot and down you would go—just like the calf did.  

                When I arrived, Jack and the calf were in the pit and they both needed help to get out. The more the calf tried to get out on its own, the more trouble he got into. The pit just got deeper, the underbrush and roots got thicker, and the ground got wetter the further he ran.

                In the pit, the calf was helpless and in grave danger. It was especially vulnerable because the ditch that led up to the pit is the same route the coyotes take to get from the woods to the pasture and back. Without the protection of its mama, the calf would surely have been easy prey for the coyotes. If nothing else, it would have died in a day or two of dehydration. I am grateful that we were able to put his feet back on solid ground so he could live.

                This incident reminded me of my own life’s story and what Jesus did for me. For years I lived in darkness, a slimy pit, mired in my sin, without hope for a future. Though I gave my life to Jesus at an early age before I was exposed to drugs or crimes that some would call “big” sins, I was still a sinner and lost in a pit of sinfulness that I could not climb out of by myself. Like the calf, the longer I stayed in the pit, the deeper I slipped and the more desperate my situation became.

At first, though I knew something was missing in my life and that I lacked peace, I really did not know that I was a lost sinner and in need of a Savior. I did not know that there was a pit of sinfulness that separated me from a loving God, much less that I was in that pit. I did not intentionally make a decision to climb into the pit and walk away from God, but I was there none the less. I was born with a sinful nature, I sinned, and those “small” sins were enough to separate me from the Holy God who created me, who loved me, and who had already paid the greatest price to save and forgive me.

The Holy Spirit wooed me and showed me my sin, my need for forgiveness, and God’s unconditional love—while I was still in the pit! Even though I was lost and living in sin, He knew where I was and He watched over me. He called out to me and pointed me to Jesus who gave His life as a ransom for mine. He pulled me from the pit of death and gave me eternal life and forgiveness of all my sin so that nothing could ever again separate me from the love and presence of God.

A lady named Milner Donald explained in a simple way what Jesus had done for me on the cross and how I could accept Him as my personal Lord and Savior by confessing and turning from my sin and by trusting in the shed blood of Jesus alone to save me. When I did this, He lifted me out from the pit of sin and destruction and gave me eternal life.             

I learned that Jesus loved me and had a plan for my life. He knew exactly where I was and He called and reached out to me—sometimes just His Spirit speaking to mine, other times through His Word, and other times through the words and actions of other Christians. Over and over He called out to me and showed me His unconditional love for me, a sinner.

Since that day, He has sent many others who encouraged me to follow Him and live my life to please and serve Him. He has been faithful to walk with me, guide me, provide for me, protect me, strengthen and encourage me, and even to reach down and pick me up if I fall or climb back into the pit.

Just as the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 40:1-3: “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”

The miry pit of un-forgiven sin is a place of certain death and destruction. You may live there a long time, but eternal death is certain. The Good News is that God sent His Son Jesus to die in your place for your sin, so that you can have abundant and eternal life.

This New Year, don’t just try harder to be better, surrender your life to Christ, trust in and follow Him and He will lift you up. He is calling and reaching out to you. He knows where you are, yet He loves and cares for you. He wants more than anything else to save you.

Praying you will have a blessed New Year.


Devotions by Year

  • Even Bulls Can Learn To Get Along
  • Changed Minds
  • Today is the Day
  • Sometimes We See What's Not There
  • Why Do You Farm?
  • Misplaced Aggression
  • Feasting On Filler
  • 'Get Some Rest': Not As Easy As It Sounds
  • Lessons From Freddy
  • Just Tired and Reflecting
  • Safe Pasture
  • Sin: Just Like Fall Army Worms
  • Blood Cleanses
  • Just Cute Little Harmless Pups
  • Life: A Series of Pipping
  • Just Because He Loves Us!
  • No Excuses!
  • Oh! Now You Tell Me!
  • Live Like You Were Dying
  • But You Didn't Tell Me!
  • Time to Choose
  • A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing
  • Celebrate the Harvest
  • Falling Stars
  • Easier To Lead Than To Drive
  • Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!
  • Grace Is Like Grits
  • We Can’t Do It ‘Ourselves’!
  • I Wouldn’t Make a Good Cowboy
  • What Are We Thinking?
  • Your Walk Talks
  • Activity is No Substitute for Reproduction
  • Who Would Have Ever Thought It?
  • Thankful for Boundaries
  • Cover It Up Or Fix The Problem?
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
  • I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!
  • If God Can Use a Dove....?
  • Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness
  • I Don't Know You!
  • Like A Straddled Squirrel
  • Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!
  • Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important
  • We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket
  • Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!
  • A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull
  • A Chicken's Right to Choose
  • Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?
  • He is Able—But if He Does Not!
  • Declarations of Independence: Properity or Destruction?
  • Blackie: One In A Hundred-In More Ways Than One
  • Who Is Holding On The Tightest?
  • That Must Have Been 20 Years Ago!
  • It's Almost Time
  • Keeping Me Awake At Night
  • Better Be Dressed
  • CHRISTMAS My Favorite Time of the Year
  • A Nation Without God is a Nation Without Hope
  • Bush Hogging During a Severe Drought?
  • When the Heart Dies—the Whole Body Dies With It
  • Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate
  • If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It
  • Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You
  • The Final Dispersal
  • Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All
  • “Takes the Teeth Out”
  • Making It Harder Than It Is
  • Why Was He Born?
  • What to do when you don’t know what to do
  • A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is
  • If Only These People Will Change
  • Go Fishing—You Never Know What You Might Catch
  • Some Droughts are Preventable
  • Celebrating ‘True Freedom’
  • Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Victory Through Surrender
  • Responding Like a Sick Calf?
  • Our Life’s Investment: A Time for Reflection
  • Preg Checking: Open! Bred! I Ain’t Sure!!
  • Confidence To Face The New Year
  • Two Virgins and a Baby—The Irony and the Gift of Christmas
  • Precious Moments in the Calving Pasture
  • Working On a Building
  • What is the Foundation of Your Faith?
  • To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat
  • Only One Life to Live
  • The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love
  • A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
  • Lessons from a Boar
  • When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm
  • Lowing in the Distance
  • Not My Dirty Feet!
  • Where did it go CFCI devotional
  • The Day ‘Tater’ Died
  • Life’s Lessons from the Chicken Yard
  • Christmas Choices
  • Experiencing God in the Calving Pasture
  • FAMILY: On and Off the Farm
  • Unity is More Than Important—It is Absolutely Essential
  • God, I’m not ______________. I AM!
  • The Rod and the Staff
  • The Good Shepherd Leads the Way
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Blessed to be a Blessing
  • Mama Should Have Named Me Martha
  • FENCES: On the Farm & In Our Lives
  • The Harvest Depends on the Heart
  • The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace
  • Partner with Us

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