Have you ever felt stuck?
Maybe you’ve experienced being stuck in your personal life. Devotions and Bible reading don’t bring joy. Personal relationships begin to feel stagnate. Even church and work can bring drudgery or even dread, rather than joy.
Maybe you’ve even experienced being stuck in a ministry role. No matter what you do, nothing seems to gain momentum. Folks don’t seem engaged in the worship gathering – they don’t sing, they don’t follow along in their Bibles during the sermon, they aren’t willing to serve. The community doesn’t seem to care whether the church is there or not.
There are many reasons we can feel stuck in either our personal or professional lives. While I don’t have space to dive into all of those here, I wanted to address what I believe are a couple of the biggest reasons folks feel stuck from time to time, and how to deal with them.
Repent of any known sin
A pattern of sinful behavior that you haven’t dealt with can make you feel separated from the Lord and isolated from others. If this is the case, the major remedy is to repent. Confess any known sin to the Lord and ask Him to search your heart for anything that you might have missed. (By the way, this is a good practice even when you don’t feel stuck!)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns.
See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
(Ps. 139:23-24 CSB)
Pursue strained relationships
Sometimes we feel stuck because there’s a relationship at church or at home that isn’t quite right. If this is the case, pursue the person. It might mean setting up a date night with your spouse or a one-on-one chat with one of your kids. It might mean making that tough phone call to a disgruntled church member and hearing their concerns over lunch or coffee.
Jesus Himself exhorts us to seek to heal strained relationships quickly so they won’t get in the way of our worship.
So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
(Matt. 5:23-24 CSB)
Keep pressing forward
Sometimes we feel stuck for no other reason than, well, we’re just stuck. There’s no behavior or person to blame. Rather, it’s just a season of feeling stuck. If this is the case, the remedy is to keep moving forward. Keep pursuing Christ. Keep evangelizing and discipling. Keep loving people. Even when it’s hard, keep pressing on. The good news is that, as painful as these times may be, they are temporary. That’s not to diminish the pain that comes during these times, but no matter how painful, it will not last forever. And the lessons learned during these times of feeling stuck can often be valuable gems that help us grow in our relationships with the Lord and with those He has placed in our lives.
Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
(Gal. 6:9-10 CSB)
So, brother, don’t give up.
P.S. If you’re feeling stuck and you’d like to visit with a counselor, contact NAMB’s free Pastoral Care Line at 1-844-PASTOR1. You can find more information here.
Published August 31, 2023