A Word of Encouragement · For Those in Ministry

When Circumstances Cast You Into a Horrible Pit

Circumstances beyond our control can be frequent for ministers. And what I am hearing lately is that all too often these circumstances are causing ministers to either burn-out or be asked to resign. Nan Jones has been there with her husband four times. I just finished reading her book and will be sharing my thoughts next week. Read this word of encouragement from her and then, if you are in this dark place, join our support Facebook group below.






The walls of the pit stared sheer and slippery.

In my desperation to escape, I grabbed at a few stray roots snaking out of the clay. They broke off into my hand, the snapping of the wood mocking me in my despair. Night was closing in as hope seeped from my heart like the underground spring feeding the clay squishing between my toes.

Fear gripped me.

Hopelessness taunted and jeered at me.

I leaned against the cold clay wall — the chamber of my captivity.

Tossing my head back, I looked up.

The setting sun, peering through the small opening of the pit, reflected in the tears escaping from my tired eyes. Amethyst sky with apricot ribbons appeared as a stained glass window adorning the edge of heaven. I watched as the clouds parted and a ball of flame lit up the heavens.

“Behold Me,” the God of Angel Armies said. “Behold Me, for I AM your Deliverer, your Refuge and the Rock of your salvation.”

I gasped. My eyelids flew open and I sat straight up in the bed, pulling the well-worn quilt beneath  my chin. I rubbed my eyes and pondered the vivid dream.


Now I stood face to face  before Him. Rather than seeing the power of His majesty,

I had allowed my circumstances to cast me into a horrible pit that reduced Him to a small stained glass window framed with gnarly underbrush.

I was looking at the Lord of Heaven and Earth through my circumstances rather than looking at my circumstances through Him. In Him. With Him.

There’s a huge difference.


The Psalmist said, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God …”

(Psalm 40:1-3a).


The troubling circumstances, the impossibilities, and the places of despair no longer hold me captive—they lose their power and dominion in my life when I dwell in God’s Presence.


Nan JonesNan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. She is a monthly contributor to Inspire a Fire and PW Connections, a blog and forum to encourage pastors’ wives. Her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife released June 30, 2015, by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This memoir was a 2016 Selah finalist. When Nan isn’t writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s faithfulness as a keynote speaker for special events. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com. or her facebook ministry page, Seeing Beyond The Veil. For personal communication, you may email Nan at nan@nanjones.com


The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and LPC Bookstore

Have you been hurt by the church? Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? The Perils of A Pastor’s Wife will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God’s Presence through it all. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone.

This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness

after losing their pastorate. Please share this with others you

may know who are struggling with the transition.


This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a shoulder to lean on.


Joy in the WIlderness
Facebook Group for Hurting Shepherds



3 thoughts on “When Circumstances Cast You Into a Horrible Pit

  1. Right, Anita. I hadn’t thought of thought “Through God’s eyes” either. So much should be looked at that way!

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