Trapped By Circumstances

                               By Phil Scovell

          I was  bored.  Walking in into the kitchen, I asked my mom what I
     could do.

          "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
     looking device.

          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
     emotional woundedness.

          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.

     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado

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