Feeling Stuck? – Part One

Authors call it writer’s block. Athletes call it a slump. Economists call it stagnation. Pastors call it burnout. Swimmers call it treading water. Off-roaders call it spinning their wheels. Retailers call it sluggishness. Scientists call it inertia. Retirees call it the “every day is Saturday” syndrome. Sailors call it the doldrums.

But I have good news. This is not God’s intention for your life. The Bible says, “He who has begun a good work in you will compete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

You see, our mighty God has a plan for your life, and He doesn’t intend to stop in mid-design! The One who composed the songs of the birds, fashioned the orbits of the planets, formed the cycles of history, and plotted the pathways of the great whales — that One has a unique design for your life. Nothing is more important than fulfilling it.

At certain points in life, you’ll feel incapacitates and stuck, unable to gain forward momentum. Some of the greatest characters in the Bible were immobilized for a time:

      • Moses was stuck on the backside of the desert for years, unaware of God’s future for him (Exodus 3:1)
      • Naomi was trapped in Moab after the deaths of her husband and sons (Ruth 1:5)
      • Elijah was stuck in the wilderness, feeling sorry for himself after his failure to bring about the revival he’d hoped for Israel (1 Kings 19:10)
      • Ezekiel was stranded in Babylon at age thirty, frustrated he couldn’t enter his priestly service in Jerusalem at the temple (Ezekiel 1:1)
      • Peter was caught in a dark, depressive cycle on the Saturday before Easter ( Matthew 26:75)
      • Thomas was cast into faithless despondency when he missed the Saviour’s appearance on Easter Sunday (John 20:24)
      • Paul was stuck in Troas where a great door of evangelism was open for him, but he had no peace of mind because of anxiety about problems in the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)
      • The apostle John was exiled on the Island of Patmos, lonely and unable to continue his ministry — or so he thought (Revelation 1:9)

But wait! God has a design for every situation and every person. Look at that list again. By God’s grace, each of these people managed to get themselves unstuck and they went forward, onto their greatest days of usefulness for the Lord.

You were created for an ever-fruitful, flourishing, thriving life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The Bible says, “Never be lacking in Zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11 NIV).

In 1 Corinthians 15:58 the apostle Paul proclaimed, “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

You can’t be stuck and live abundantly at the same time. You can’t be despondent while keeping your spiritual fervour in God’s service. You can’t be immobilized and give yourself fully to the work of the Lord.

So, how do you get free of the sandbar and back to sailing in open water? Tomorrow we will look at the first of a number of suggestions that will help you to do just that.