Out of the Pit


My six-year-old daughter and I recently got dressed up for our first ballet together. My heart smiled as I listened to her incessant giggles and watched her untameable skipping all the way to the box office.

The show was breathtaking. Such beauty, such grace, such harmony.

The dancing was spectacular, the music perfection. Yet I was mildly disappointed that I couldn’t see more of the orchestra.

To watch the instrumentalists is as enjoyable to me as watching the dancers. I like spotting where the specific sounds are originating from and trying to anticipate who will contribute next to the overall composition.

As I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of the back two rows of the orchestra, I couldn’t help but think, “What a pity! Here are these hard-working musicians, collaborating to construct such a crucial component of the production, and they can’t even see what’s taking place on stage!”

Sitting inconspicuously in the dark, sunken pit were the orchestra members — unseen, yet producing such mesmerizing music it almost seemed supernatural.

My mind was cast to the Lord, and the way that He so often uses the dark pits in our lives to bring forth the most glorious symphonies of all.

In my own life, the darkest pit that the Lord has allowed me to endure thus far was my mom’s battle with terminal cancer.

Truthfully, there were times during those nine years when the pit seemed so black that I couldn’t even see the faintest hint of light. I definitely couldn’t see the grander picture of the production taking place on stage. But looking back, as painful as it was (and still is, even in the aftermath), there is clear evidence of the Lord’s constant background music sustaining me, lifting me, and reminding me of beauty and hope in the midst of turmoil.

As Psalm 40:1-3 says:

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 the Lord and put their trust in Him.

He was there with me in the pit, producing chords in perfect harmony, all the while completely aware of the dancers on stage. Though I couldn’t see the sheet music or the production above, I could rest with the comfort that the Conductor was in control and knew what lay ahead.

Even out of the pit, God can make beautiful music.

Sometimes the Lord lets us hear the music while we’re in the pit; at other times, it’s not as audible. But regardless of the circumstances, He is there, with the perfect composition already complete.

That night at the ballet, I tilted my head in the dark theatre and could see my daughter perched on the edge of her seat. She was wholly taken in by the production, leaning forward in anticipation of the next scene. Of course, having never experienced anything like it before, she had no idea what lay ahead in the storyline or the score — much like the rest of us, in this musical score called life.

We have no idea what lies ahead at the turn of a page, or even in the next measure. I don’t know what dark pits may still lurk in the distance for my daughter, or in my own life — but I do know that the Lord is not only able to draw us up out of the pit, but He can also create beautiful music from within.

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Kate Motaung grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan before spending ten years in Cape Town, South Africa. She is married to a South African and together they have three children. Kate is the author of the e-book, Letters to Grief, hosts the Five Minute Friday blog link-up, and has contributed to several other online publications. She blogs at Heading Home and can be found on Twitter @k8motaung.

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Out of the Pit

by Kate Motaung time to read: 2 min