Feeling stuck is not a pleasant mindset. Have you been there recently? Maybe right now? Days, weeks, months – even years – may pass draining mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional energy… and we know it’s not right. It’s not a feeling that’s welcome in our lives, this whole “I-don’t-feel-quite-like-myself-and-I-don’t-know-why.” And it comes at the expense of the people we share life with. We attempt to rationalize – my hormones are wacked, obesity is part of my genetics, my family is out of control, anxiety/depression/addiction/negative self-talk rules my life, the jobs just aren’t there, my past is full of hurt and brokenness… you name it, you blame it.
Because we don’t understand the root cause, it’s easy to blame circumstances and feel sorry for ourselves.
Honestly, blame and self-pity aren’t doing you any favors. You don’t have to live there. You were created on purpose, for a purpose, and it doesn’t have to include staying trapped. Getting unstuck and breaking free is possible.
KEEP MOVING FORWARD – and support others who may stumble to find their own footing.
My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.
– Forrest Gump
Recognizing the past is important. Absolutely. As training grounds for the future, we learn how to grow our faith muscles – how to rely upon God and conquer self-doubt. But to live in the past is another story… that’s not the direction life is going. We Keep Moving Forward. Like training for a race, we keep running, putting one foot in front of the other, over and over until we reach our finish line. Do you feel unfit? Not cut out for the race of life? Can you think of anyone more stuck than you?
Meet Job: Job was a man of great faith, patience, and endurance. He loved God and Job was blameless in God’s sight. His family and friends knew him as a generous and caring person. He provided well for his family as a wealthy landowner and livestock owner. This was Job’s life until one day when his love for God was gravely tested. God knew Job had chosen to love Him no matter what, and He allowed Satan to kill Job’s family, rob his land and cattle, and ruin his health – Everything Job held dear was GONE! He had every reason to feel stuck.
Job’s first response was human: he cursed the day he was born and questioned why he was alive. He questioned God, wanting to understand why such suffering came upon him. He didn’t do anything wrong. But it became clear that Job was not meant to know God’s reasons. Ultimately, Job stayed faithful to God and didn’t further question God’s motive for his suffering. God gave Job answers, although they weren’t to the questions Job was asking. The answers God provided reaffirmed Job’s faith and reliance on God. The answers were not what Job wanted; they were what he needed. They allowed him to keep moving forward.
God wanted to prove Job was not a fair-weather fan who followed God based on experiencing the sweeter side of life. God knew that Job was strong enough to go through everything Satan could unleash. By God’s strength, Job survived his circumstances. He came to understand that a person can lose all their earthly goods, but belonging to God provides everything we truly need.
Unshakable faith is built on the assurance that God’s ultimate purpose will prevail. Setbacks and sorrows strike believers and non-believers, but God expects us to use our circumstances to bear His witness to the world. Choose to see each day as an opportunity to grow your own trust muscles instead of wishing you had someone else’s.
What can we learn from Job? God is Sovereign. He is just and He is fair. Ultimately, knowing God is better than knowing answers. Humility is better than seeking revenge. Trust tastes sweeter than a hardened heart. Our God is not haphazard or uncaring, but far more complex than we can understand. Pain is not always punishment for our missteps.
Remember friends, it is in the dark that ghosts are seen. It is in the darkness of the past where we often lose sight of the hope of the future. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Let us walk with Him in the light, so that we may never have to be in darkness again (John 8:12).
Will you ask God, “Why me?” or tell Him to “Use me!”?