Well, this sucks. My teenage self sat on the side of the road silently pouting as I wiped mud off of my cheek. Some cute boys had invited me and my friends to go “muddin” (emphasis on the lack of ‘g’), but the joy ride was cut short when the truck we were in got stuck in the mud. They kept revving the engine and spinning the wheels, but the only thing that achieved was an increased amount of mud splattered on our faces. “That thing is really stuck, we’re not moving anytime soon.” I glared as the boys laughed. Thanks, Captain Obvious. Their country accents weren’t as cute now. Surely not cute enough to be stuck on the side of the road.
Being stuck isn’t fun. You may not have experienced the thrill of “muddin,” but have you ever felt stuck in an area of life? I know I have. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically. I’ve hit many walls of frustration in life that leave me feeling like I’m not going anywhere, no matter what I do.
I’ve tried everything. I’ve read books. I’ve listened to sermons. I’ve Googled it. I’ve prayed. I’ve asked others for advice.
So why am I still stuck here? What Am I doing wrong? What am I supposed to do next? The more I spin my wheels, the more exhausted I become.
Because the answer isn’t spinning wheels.
I believe Jesus wants us to stop trying so hard. Yep. I think He wants us to chill out, slow down, take a deep breathe and return to the simplicity of who He is. We feel stuck when we try to move forward instead of letting Jesus pick us up and carry us forward. There is no such thing as stuck if there isn’t a conflicting push to move.
We feel stuck when we try to move forward instead of letting Jesus pick us up and carry us forward
Peace isn’t found in figuring out what we are doing wrong or where to go next. Solutions are not earned by fixating on finding answers. The root answer that remains ours for the taking in every situation is this: lean on and run to Jesus. He wants our heart’s attention, not perfection. Not more effort. Not more brainstorming.
He wants our heart’s attention, not perfection
Ironically, this truth is often what becomes the biggest roadblock to walking in it. Let’s be real, this kind of relationship doesn’t make sense. It is logically illogical. But so is Jesus’ love for us and the gift He offers us. The unbelievable simplicity of accepting Jesus’ love is confusing because our minds cannot comprehend such grace.
Since our human minds are not friendly towards answerless concepts, we can get caught up in trying to look for God through the lens of an expected response. If I stop doing _____, maybe He will heal me. If I just do more of ____, maybe He will finally free me. If I don’t feel ____, He is not moving. If ____ happens, I’m stuck. Our natural tendency is to predetermine what favorable looks like so we have some kind of measurement to put God on a mental scale that doesn’t require a faith bigger than ourselves. Conviction is very real, but an exchange-based relationship with our Savior is not.
Conviction is very real, but an exchange-based relationship with our Savior is not.
And that, my friend, is where the choice to have faith comes in. Faith is not a process of exhausting ourselves trying to follow Jesus. It’s not keeping a tally until we think we’ve reached a place where healing occurs. We don’t have to get everything right. We just put one obedient foot in front of the other, trusting that the One who promises to be faithful even when we are not will come through and straighten up every misstep or “wrong” turn. He promises to complete what He has started in each of us.
Peace isn’t found in figuring out what we are doing wrong or where to go next.
It’s not comprehensible. We can’t figure it out. We just have to follow, and trust. So take a deep breath, sneak away from life’s craziness for a little while and go somewhere you can open your soul to the One who is constantly working in you only because He loves you.
Three Things To Remember
- If you follow Jesus you are never “stuck” because He works through and uses everything. (Romans 8:28, Philippians 1:6)
- Limited understanding does not mirror God. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- Feelings do not dictate the reality of what we can claim through Jesus because feelings change. Jesus doesn’t. (Hebrews 13:8)