Falling into the
Pit of Despair




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Falling into the Pit of Despair

Attributed to Rev. Chris Dowd Associate Pastor at
Arapaho United Methodist Church
Richardson, Texas

Currently Rev. Chris Dowd the Senior Pastor at
First United Methodist Church
Henrietta, Texas




Faith sees best in the dark.

Once there was a man overwhelmed with despair walking along the road. He had fallen into the depths of despair when he stumbled and literally fell into a deep dark pit!

He looked up. He could see daylight. But there was no way that he could see to get out. He was really starting to be afraid. He looked up and shouted for help.

Soon a Doctor passed by. The man was relieved. “Just what I needed,”
he cried,
“I am trapped in this deep dark pit and I cannot get out!”

So the Doctor nodded and then wrote the man a prescription and tossed it down the hole.

The man’s heart sunk.



Sometimes doctors are not the miracle workers
we want them to be.

Sometimes the medicines are not the miracle drugs
we want them to be.

Sometimes the test results are not what
we want them to be.





Later a Priest walked by. The man was relieved, “Thank God,” he cried,
“I am trapped in this deep dark pit and I cannot get out!”

The Priest nodded and wrote the man a beautiful prayer and tossed it down the hole.

The man’s heart sunk.



Sometimes our prayers are not answered
the way we want them to be.

Sometimes the answer is “Yes”
and sometimes the answer is “No.”

Sometimes the answer is “Not Now…
Wait Patiently on the Lord.”

Sometimes the answer is that
“God has a better plan for our lives.”
Sometimes God has a plan that

No eye has ever seen,
No ear has ever heard,

(Sometimes God has a plan that)
You cannot imagine
What greatness and wonders
that God has in store for you.

1 Corinthians 2:8-10 adapted




Later it was starting to get dark and the man was really starting to worry. Then there was a smiling face looking down the pit at him.

The man had very little hope but he stammered,
“I am trapped in this deep dark pit and I cannot get out!”

Immediately the smiling face jumped down into the pit with him.

The man was perplexed! Exasperated!
“Why did you jump down here?
Now we are both trapped in this deep dark pit.”

The other man with a kind smile said,
“I’ve been trapped down here before and I know the way OUT!



Sometimes a friend with you in the darkest of times
is the “Best Medicine.”

Sometimes a friend with you in the darkest of times
is the “Answer to your Prayer.”




Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The Good Samaritan by Bible Basics
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and Matthew 25:40
Artwork: "The Good Samaritan" by Vincent van Gogh.
Music by Thomas Newman "Angels in America."

The Good Samaritan
Bible Basics Presentation
Windows Media Video



Laura Story “Blessings” Are your blessings in disguise?”


Laura Story “Blessings” Are your blessings in disguise?”




Are you willing to “jump in” to help others?
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to help someone?
Is your willingness to help others extend to strangers?
How can you take the “initiative” to help others?




Jesus Heals a Paralytic

17One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20When Jesus saw their faith, he said,
"Friend, your sins are forgiven."

21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?

24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today." Luke 5:17-26



Are you willing to go the distance;
to go the extra mile to help someone?
When has someone “Jumped into the Pit” to help you?




“Jesus Heals a Paralytic” is from the Gospel of Luke 5:17-26 is a story of a sick man’s friends who were willing to “go the distance” “to go the extra mile” (literally). These friends sacrificed themselves to help their friend in need! These friends wanted to do good; but they faced many obstacles! We often face hardship and obstacles in ministry. These friends were NOT easily discouraged! They were persistent in word and in deed. They gave their best; their very best! These friends were unrelenting in their “love” for their friend!

Through determination, ingenuity, and hard work, (imagine trying to get a paralytic up ladders and down through the roof) they brought their friend to Jesus!

Think of the “HOPE” “FAITH” and “TRUST” that they had in Jesus?

Really think about it for a while…
this is the faith that can move mountains….

When we are in need or when we work to help others we ALL need to draw upon this “HOPE” “FAITH” and “TRUST” in our Lord Jesus Christ.



Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.

Do not say to your neighbor,
"Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"—
when you now have it with you.
Proverbs 3:27-28





'I tell you the truth,
whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.'

Matthew 25:40




Sheep and the Goats
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Matthew 25:31-46



If you find yourself down in a hole -
Stop Digging!







At its worst, depression can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Millions of people around the world live with depression. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don't know where to turn for help. However, depression is largely preventable and treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical towards recovery.

In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the "black dog of depression".

For more information on World Mental Health Day, please visit: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events...
- Published on Oct 2, 2012

I love dogs, even black dogs. For me it is a "shadow of depression" that follows me. -eoa



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