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Numb and In a Hole

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

Ephesians 4:19

One of the results of spinal surgery is that I have these places on my body where I just can’t feel a thing. There’s a rather large spot between my shoulder blades that is numb. One other place is at the end of my feet. My toes are dead to feeling. I just can’t feel much of anything there.

These numb spots aren’t a big deal, I’ve learned to live with them. But they can be challenging. For example, when I cut my toenails, I can accidently nick my skin and bleed all over the place. I have to take care of these cuts because they could easily get infected. My shoes are a great breeding ground for growing all kinds of bacteria you know.

Numbness in toes is one thing but being numb to what’s right and wrong is something altogether different. That’s what’s happened here – these people have stopped feeling the pain that normally stops them from making wrong choices.

Have you ever been there? That dark, lonely place where you’ve lost all sensitivity to life? What’s going to hurt yourself? Others? You’ve come to the place where you stop feeling pain or grief. You’re no longer caring. You live in despair. You become lazy towards things you used to care greatly for. You even become recklessness.

You don’t just despair about life, but you come to the place where you just don’t care about what’s right or wrong. It’s when you heart may still be pumping blood but has stopped feeling anything about what’s helpful to yourself or anyone else.

When you’ve lost any care about what’s right or wrong, you slide down into the place where you let yourself go. You give yourself over to anyone and anything. You sell yourself down the river of immorality. You give up and give yourself over to whatever comes down the pike. There are three results to watch out for.

  • Sensuality – Because there are no boundaries, you don’t try to stop yourself from any physical pleasure. But even these have lost their ability to please you, to lift your spirits. There are no more restraints, and there’s no joy either.

  • Impurity – You’ve completely surrendered yourself. You no longer care what you do, what you experience, what happens to you. Nothing is out of bounds anymore. Any and all kinds of unclean choices are now in bounds, available to be gobbled up.

  • Greed – Not only do you want more pleasure, you also want more things. More money. More possessions. More power. What used to be enough is no longer enough. The thirst for more becomes overwhelming.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in this place. If you’ve come to that point in your life that it just doesn’t matter anymore. It’s OK to put anything and everything in your body. Any physical experience or pleasure is allowable. Heck, it’s more than just allowable. It’s become something positive, to be experienced as much as possible.

I’ve never been totally in this place. But my low place wasn’t physical, it was emotionally. I found myself in the pit of self-piety. Everyone and everything were against me. Life had stopped being fun. It was just another day to be endured.

The pit was so deep I couldn’t jump out. The walls were so high and smooth that I couldn’t climb out. I felt trapped. I was trapped. There was only one way out, and that was for someone to jump down into the hole with me. And that’s exactly what Jesus did.

For we have no superhuman High Priest to whom our weaknesses are unintelligible—he himself has shared fully in all our experience of temptation, except that he never sinned.

Hebrews 4:15 Phillips

Jesus more than just knew what I was going through in his head, he experienced it. And the same is true for whatever you’re going through. He’s experienced more loneliness, isolation, pain, suffering, abandonment, and abuse that you could possibly imagine.

This makes Jesus qualified to transfer our pain and loneliness to. He understands and can comfort more than anyone else.

In The West Wing, Leo McGary tells Josh Lyman a story about falling into a hole[1]. Only a friend that’s been down in the hole can show you the way out. That friend is Jesus.

Noodling Questions

· Describe a time in your life when you’ve been numb towards God.

· What’s life like when you just don’t care anymore?

· How has Jesus experienced and felt the same way that you have?



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