All too frequently in life, I’ve had that feeling of standing in a trance, while I watch the rest of the world pass me by. Whether it be physically, emotionally, or spiritually, no matter how hard I try to take a step forward, I just end up feeling stuck. The weight that holds me down each time may vary, but the feelings of lonliness and isolation are the same. I have felt trapped in this very spot for most of the past couple of years – in all three areas. Between my last two miscarriages, cancer, two major surgeries, and the birth of my daughter, I have been almost completely reclusive. I began contemplating my situation, and wondering if the “stuck” feelings were accurate and if so, was it a result of my own doing, or was it a place that God wanted me in? How could I tell? The Bible speaks of moving forward, but also speaks of taking time to be still. Let me share what I learned with you.
Questions to ask yourself:
o Do you see your heartache as useless and of no value?
o Are you “back-sliding” in your relationship with God?
o Do you have obvious anger and bitterness towards God or those around you?
o Do you feel that things are “not fair” or that you “deserve better?”
o Do you get jealous when others have what you want, or do you find yourself wishing for something other than what you already have?
o Are you avoiding your God-given roles and responsibilities?
o Are you suffering with depression that is not medical in nature?
1. If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you are probably “stuck,” at least in part.
Stuck: to be caught or held in a position so that you cannot move; unable to solve a problem and continue working; in a situation that you do not like but cannot avoid; forced to have, use, or deal with someone or something that you do not want.
They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds. Isaiah 1:4b-6a
But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came. My inward parts are in turmoil and never still; days of affliction come to meet me. Job 30:26-27
For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. Psalm 69:1b-2
Being “stuck” has the idea of being put in a situation that you do not like and being held there without your consent. (Such as a traumatic event, sickness, loss, chronic pain, etc.) However, as Christians, God has given us the freedom to choose to have joy and contentment or to choose to have bitterness and jealousy, in the midst of those situations. If you are stuck there, it is your choice. I would suggest that being “stuck” is the “easy way out.” It is easy to allow yourself to feel victimized and wronged, waiting on those around you to validate your pain and endorse your unwillingness to address it properly.
Questions to ask yourself:
o Are you fulfilling the day-to-day requirements of your God-given roles and responsibilities?
o Do you find joy and peace in the midst of difficult circumstances, and do others notice?
o Are you content?
o Are you strong in prayer and thankful in your current situation?
o Are you growing in your relationship with God, becoming more Christ-like, and learning new things?
o Do you find freedom in the sovereignty of God?
o Are you able to praise and worship God through the storms, even when God may not feel near?
o Do believe that your heartache will be redeemed to the glory of God, and are you working to this end, in so much as it lies within your ability to do so?
2. If you answered “yes” to the questions above, chances are, you are experiencing a time of “stillness” in your life.
Still: not moving; quiet and calm, with nothing happening.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a (kjv)
But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Psalm 4:3-4(kjv).
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way. Psalm 37:7
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2
Being still takes work. It seems it would come naturally; however, stillness is not really the act of doing nothing. Rather, being still involves seeking God, desiring to know His heart, and then, allowing Him to pull apart your very inner-being – refining, altering, and eradicating. Then, in the tranquility, He begins to redeem, restore, and revive us. Even though the same situations, such as mentioned above, may bring us to this place, our perspective and our expectations are different. Instead of expecting God to “fix” our circumstances, we allow Him to “fix” us. Instead of seeing our suffering as unfair, we see trials as an opportunity to give glory to God.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
Anyone can be stuck. It takes effort to be still. A quote that caught my attention was, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Don’t waste the time that God has given you. Everyone gets 24 hours in a day – no more, no less. What you do with it makes all the difference. You can never get time back. Make sure it counts for something…better yet, make sure it counts for someone – God.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Original material by Holly M. Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp44p04-02-14