Help! I’m Stuck!
I did one of my bucket list items when I was 19 years old. I jumped out of a plane with a parachute. After a week of training in Oakland, California, I was ready for my jump. I had no idea that I was going to get stuck in the mud!
Without thinking, I walked through the mud before boarding the little Cessna. I kneeled at the open door during the short flight. Then came the signal to go perch on the wing. I got in position but slipped a little as my boots were muddy. (Do you feel a little fear as you read this?)
Then came the final signal. I pushed off and jumped! My ripcord was connected to the plane with a long cord. My parachute was pulled open when I reached a certain distance from the aircraft. What a scary thrill! The few seconds of free fall were…. Well, you have to add this to your bucket list.
I landed in a field without breaking any bones. And I missed the electric wires I noticed on my descent.
But help! I was stuck in the mud! I couldn’t move my feet out of the mud. Fortunately, someone came to my rescue and had to pick me up out of the mud!
I had taken a significant risk and then got stuck in the mud!
Are You Stuck?
You may have been living an adventurous, joy-filled life and then something happened. And now you’re stuck. You can’t seem to move forward.
Do you feel like you’re not living but just going through the motions? Life has lost its wonder, and you’ve lost your passion? Are you living on autopilot?
You ask, “Where is the abundant life Jesus promised?”
Maybe early on in your life, things happened. You were deeply wounded. You have never felt that you were worth living a life of passion and meaning. Even though you are a Christian, you don’t feel like you have come alive with the joy of the Lord.
A shattered dream, a broken relationship, the death of a child or a spouse, a lost job—these are losses and disappointments that can cripple you. You are alive but not living with purpose and intention.
Many possible scenarios exist that lead to a STUCK LIFE. Bottom-line, you’re not moving forward into the life that Jesus died to give you.
What is holding you back?
Jesus died to give you a life of love, purpose and meaning in Him. He gave you His life! You now have His life in you. “Christ in you,” (Colossians 1:27) empowers you to live the abundant life Jesus promised.
If the life Jesus has given us is such a glorious gift, then why aren’t we experiencing it?
I pondered and wrestled with this question for decades. Why don’t I experience what God gave me? How do I experience it? Why doesn’t my Christian life look more like the way Christ lived?
What kept me stuck in the mud of ineffective Christian living?
Ouch! I do hate to use that word “ineffective.” But Peter did along with “unfruitful” (2 Peter 1:8). My Christian life was not bearing the fruit that I was destined to produce. I was easily hurt and offended. I did not love as Jesus loved me. (In faith I’m using past tense, but honestly, I know the Lord is still working in me.)
Jesus died to give me a life that was so much more than what I was living.
I came up with a list of reasons why I was stuck. Do you relate to any of them?
Forgetting who I am and what Jesus has done for me
Limiting beliefs or just plain unbelief
Shame and guilt
Not following through
Living on autopilot instead of living responsibly
Being a spectator instead of a participant in life
Lack of diligent effort
Misunderstanding the part action plays in faith
Though these are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed, they miss the most crucial issue.
Before I get to that, I want to tell you something about God that has intrigued me for years and left me with a profound sense of awe and wonder.
In just a few minutes you’ll see how understanding this characteristic of God can help us get unstuck and live an effective and fruitful Christian life.
A Powerful Yet Vulnerable God
In creating and loving us, Abba Father opened up His heart to painful wounding and rejection beyond our comprehension.
Our Father made Himself vulnerable to the pain of rejection by His wayward children.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).
Jesus was rejected by His own people and put to death by the agony of crucifixion.
We can grieve the Holy Spirit. Paul in Ephesians 4:30 says: “Do not grieve the Spirit of God.”
Our Father even suffers with those who suffer. “In all their affliction he was afflicted” (Isaiah 63:9).
Then the ultimate pain of the Father: Jesus became sin for us, and the wrath of the Father fell on Jesus. The astonishing truth is that our sin separated the Father and Son during that dark time.
Our Father longs for relationship with us so much. He made Himself vulnerable to hurt from you and me.
Being stuck is missing the intimate relationship with Abba Father and hurting His heart.
Unstuck and on a Mission
The eleven disciples all ran away when Jesus was arrested. Peter himself denied that he even knew Jesus.
They were downcast, fearful, and confused after the crucifixion. All were stuck in their grief and shock in the Upper Room.
Then they met the Risen Lord! And then the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. Those encounters changed everything!
The all-powerful God of heaven and earth made Himself vulnerable and risked everything on a small band of ordinary men and women.
Stuck in their own grief and disappointment
in the Upper Room
Transformed and empowered by the presence of the Risen Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit!
You and I Unstuck and on a Mission!
Dear friend, grasp the truth that the powerful God of the universe made Himself vulnerable to us. He knows what we are going through and feels the pain. He does not turn away from us but pursues us with a loving heart. Abba Father desires an intimate love relationship with us.
When I am stuck, I forget what I need and want and what my Father wants. I need a fresh encounter with my Lord to lift me out of my stuck-in-the-mud mindset. I picture Him lifting me out of the mud of ineffective and unfruitful living to an adventurous life on a mission with Him. This intimacy with my Lord is what I want and what He longs for, too.
God in His grace will come to you and lift you out of your stuck mindset. He sets you free to enjoy intimacy with Him. Then He gives you the honor of working with Him.
“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
Beloved friend, we can live the life that Jesus died to give us! More to come. Don’t miss a post. Sign up for my blog post emails and receive a 7-Day Email Devotional Study.