Trapped By Circumstances
By Phil Scovell
I was bored. Walking in into the kitchen, I asked my mom what I
"Spit in your shoe," came her standard reply.
No help there, I figured, so I said, "Can I go outside?"
"Sure," she said.
Stepping out the back door, I walked into the backyard and looked
around. There was Uncle Fred's house trailer. It was mid afternoon
so I knew Uncle Fred would be gone to work. I stared at the apple
orchard but didn't feel like climbing trees that day. Then, looking
at our tool shed, I decided to go and see if there was something
inside I could find to do.
The door wasn't locked. This was back in the day you didn't have
to lock up your tools, cars, or homes; at least not in the part of
town we lived in.
Making my way across the tool shed, I began looking at the
different tools my dad and Uncle had.
Just then I heard a voice behind me at the door. "That you in
there, Scov," came my friend's voice.
It was Danny Johnson; my best friend. "How'd you know where I
was?" I called back.
"Ah, your ma told me you were out in back and I saw the door
opened so figured you must be in here. What's ya doin?" he wanted to
"Trying to find something to do," I replied morosely.
"Hey," Danny said suddenly, "what's this?" and he kicked a long
metal tool laying on the floor up against the wall.
Coming over, I looked down. "It is a post hole digger," I said.
"How do it work?" he asked, staring curiously at the strange
Picking it up, I held it upright between us. "You hold it like
this on the ground and then turn these handles at the top. As you
twist it around and around, the bottom digs a whole in the ground."
"No foolin?" he said with amazement. "That's neat. Can we try
it out?" he asked.
"Sure," I said. "I've never used it but I've seen my dad and my
Uncle Fred using it before so we can try it."
Danny helped me carry the post hold digger out of the shed.
"Where can we dig?" Danny asked.
"Let's go around on the side of Uncle Fred's trailer. We don't
want a hole in the middle of the backyard," I said warningly. "I
doubt my dad would like that."
"Ok, that sounds good," Danny replied and led the way as he
carried his end of the post hold digger.
Once we were at a location where few people walked, we began
twisting the handle and watching the post hold digger chewing into the
soft soil. We learned that every so often, we had to pull the tool
free of the hole that was being dug because the algor filled up with
"This is really neat," Danny exclaimed.
"Yeah," I agreed. "I think so, too."
We continued digging the hole, dumping the dirt, and taking turns
staring down into the hole to determine our progress.
At one point, we began sticking our legs down into the hole to
see if we could touch the bottom because the hole was too dark to see
to the bottom. Finally we stopped because the hole was getting deep
and the handles were getting closer and closer to the ground. "Wow,"
Danny said, "that was fun."
I agreed but said we better return the post hold digger to the
tool shed because it would be getting dark soon. We did and Danny
left for supper.
We soon forgot about the hole we had dug.
The winter was typical for Iowa and the hills in the apple
orchard provided wonderful places for sledding and just running
through the snow.
It was getting late in the afternoon and we all got tired and
decided to go home. Plus, our clothes and boots were filled with snow
and we were cold. We all separated and began tramping through the
cold snow to our individual homes.
As I walked out of the orchard, I decided to take the shortest
route to the back door because I was getting really cold. The snow
was deep and my boots felt heavy. My gloves were wet and I shivered
as I walked down the small hill along the south side of Uncle Fred's
Suddenly, and without warning, the ground went out from under me.
My foot hit the bottom of the post hole Danny and I had dug just a few
weeks before with such force, it jarred my teeth. I hadn't seen the
hole because it was covered over with several inches of newly fallen
snow. My thick heavy boot over my shoe jammed tightly in the bottom
of the whole and I was stuck fast. I could not get any leverage
because my left leg was so far down, my right leg was stretched out in
front of me. I pushed and pulled and grunted and groaned but couldn't
move. I felt panic for the first time in my life. I looked up.
There sat the house but all the windows were tightly closed since it
was winter. I screamed and yelled at the top of my lungs but no one
could hear me. I continued struggling but my boot was jammed so
firmly at the bottom of the hole, I couldn't even move my foot. I
fought for all I was worth and feared the worst; I was stuck and was
going to freeze to death during the night. Giving one mighty tug, my
foot pulled free of my shoe and it's boot. My sock even pulled free
of my foot and I stumbled, crying, across the snow filled yard and
into the back door of our home; minus a boot, a shoe, and one sock.
I was 50 years of age before the Lord revealed to me the
importance and the power of the renewing of the mind as a born again
Christian. Being raised a Baptist for about the first 30 years of my
life, and later becoming a part of Charismatic churches, I got the
idea, somehow, that it was what I did for God that counts. This had
to be true, of course, because it was all finished, I was taught, upon
the cross. That sounded right so, of course, being a good Christian,
I never questioned leadership, that is, my various pastors over the
years, and my professors in Bible college. Besides, I had been
taught, to question leadership, that is, was a good way of getting
into big time trouble with God. I well remember some very forceful
sermons on this topic, too. One, in fact, focused on the theme, "The
pastor may not always be right but he is always the pastor." The
sermon itself made the sharp point that nobody messes with the pastor.
I wanted to be a good Christian, a faithful Christian, a Bible
believing Christian, so naturally I wasn't going to disobey leadership
and never question what I was taught. WARNING! THIN ICE!
Let me stop right here and point out how wrong this is
theologically. First, it isn't Biblical and secondly, the opposite is
true. If we are never to question what we are taught, then we are
under control. Control by whom? The Holy Spirit? The True Lord
Jesus Christ? No. We would be under the control of leadership. Take
my word for it. It might be worth living by this philosophy if your
"leaders" would ever stand up for you when things get tough but they
rarely do. I have people sit in my office all the time who tell me,
after describing their situation and circumstances, that they, yes,
have been to their pastor about these things but they have shown
little, if any, interest. I just had a man going through a divorce
tell me, as I wrote this article, that his own pastor has never once,
in all the weeks of the divorce proceedings, ever asked him even a
single time how things were going. This very same pastor had
conducted marriage counseling with this man and his wife weeks earlier
and he now doesn't know the man might be hurting?
Excuse me, pastors, but may I say something here? I am tired of
doing your job for you. If you aren't called to be the shepherd of
your sheep, then resign and go find something else to do for a living
such as selling used cars or something. If you don't have the brass
to do that much, then pay me for the work I am doing which you refuse
to do. Now, back to the purpose of this article.
As I was saying, the truth is, we are commanded to exercise the
renewing of our minds as Christians. If you don't know where these
verses are in the Bible, then hunt around my website and read a few
other articles where I go into this in more detail but theology class
isn't the purpose of this writing.
How do we renew our minds as Christians? This is something that,
at first, and depending upon the level of suffering one is
experiencing, often takes agreement in prayer with some other
Christian who is, at the least, an intercessor. An intercessor is
generally a person who can agree with you in prayer in such a way that
Jesus is invited to do His work in your life where it needs it. The
intercessor is not there to do the work but to facilitate the prayer
of agreement in order to expedite the healing process and the renewing
of the mind where there are hidden lies implanted by the Enemy and
Often these prayer sessions are nothing more than two people
talking and praying together in very basic ways. What we are looking
for is the trapped that was laid, the hole that was dug, the lie that
was implanted, the sin that was committed, or the confusion that was
experienced. This is often during earlier days of childhood but is
not limited to that period of time.
As previously stated, I was 50 years of age before the Lord
revealed how this worked. Now, it is who I am as a Christian and it
is what I do as a ministry.
As I pray with people, we often discover woundedness that occurs
from various stages in life. Sin, believe it or not, is rarely the
cause of the woundedness for the average Christian. By that I mean,
the average Christian has already confessed whatever sin they may have
committed and done so hundreds, if not thousands, of times throughout
their life. Why do they keep confessing to the Lord the sin of a
given event over and over again? Because, quite simply, just as I was
trapped in a hole I dug, they are trapped in the guilt of their sin.
No, not trapped in the sin or even because of the sin but they are
trapped in the guilt. Why? Because, somebody lied to them.
Sometimes the pain we suffer is a direct result of our own
circumstances. We feel trapped. The most common word I hear when
praying with others is, "I feel trapped." Often it is the result of
something we did. No, it may not have been sin committed but it is
something for which we feel bound to take responsibility. If you find
yourself in just such a circumstance, call me and let the Lord begin
His healing journey in your life.
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