Monday Morning Devotion-May 11, 2020
Stuck in the Mud
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthian 14:33
Thinking about how I feel on some of these days of social distancing, staying at home and trying to join the battle against the coronavirus it came to me. Sometimes I just feel like I am stuck-in-the-mud. Then I thought. Hey, I have been there before. Maybe not to the extent of the current situation, but°" stuck in the mud, is stuck in the mud" no matter what caused the feeling. When that happens, we do our best to change the way we feel.
While feeling that way my mind drifted back five years to a Monday Morning Devotion I shared on September 7, 2015. Here it is:
"In its natural condition your mind easily gets stuck on trivial matters. Like the spinning wheels of a car trapped in the mud, the cogs of your brain spin impotently when you are focused on a trivial thing. Communicating with Him will put His thoughts in our mind." (Sarah Young Jesus Calling)
Sometimes it is possible to just reach a point where you feel like you are stymied. Don't know which way to turn. There is no easy discernible solution. Here are some things to think about that I discovered in researching this stuck-in-the-mud depression that can descend on us.
Found some food for thought from www.marcandangel.com.
First, when we feel stuck that's just what it is---a feeling, not a fact. It is natural to first look somewhere outside of ourselves. Someone or something is obviously to blame. We can't always change what is outside of us, we can change our perception of it. But when we change the way we are looking at a problem that is often the first step to "unsticking" our selves.
Second point is that "yesterday's bad news is not worth reliving. We ain't gonna make what has happened any better by worrying about it. We can't move forward if we have one foot on the brakes. Dropping yesterday's frustrations helps us move ahead today."
Third, when we are feeling stuck that is usually a sign that it's time to make a change. Maybe it's a change of perspective, habits or just a change of heart. Fact is what you've been doing to get unstuck has not worked. To achieve a breakthrough, we must try something different.
Fourth, it may not be easy to do what we need to do but it will be worth it. Sometimes it takes courage to admit that changes need to be made. It may be painful. But it will be less painful than staying stuck in the mud where you are.
Fifth, there is probably an excuse standing between where you are and the next step you must take. If you are determined to do something you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse. No more excuses. Choose what is best for you.
Sixth, there will always be naysayers out there, so don't let their opinions stop you. "If you are trying to prove your worth to someone else you have already forgotten your value. Don't do it. Don't fall into that trap.
Seventh, when you allow yourself to be yourself you allow others to do the same. Nobody is putting on airs. No finger pointing. I like this line: "We are all equally perfect in our imperfections."
Eighth, real growth is an inside-out process. There is where true growth comes from°inside you. Learning this will keep you from aging faster than you grow. Concentrate on your own inner growth and goals. Don't get discouraged because that contributes to more wheel spinning and complicates your getting out of that mud.
Ninth, realize that life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the little joys that come your way. To do this you must let go of the ingrained fears, superstitions and doubts. Make the journey fun and feel good about yourself.
Finally, you are actually a lot stronger and a lot less stuck than you think. Remember that the biggest breakthroughs often come after a long period of being stuck.
All of these are made in full confidence that when you are stuck and you bring those frustrations and problems to the Lord He will help you get unstuck. So, as you pray think about it. Which one or ones of these facts is He sending your way as a lever to put under those wheels and enable your car's wheels to stop spinning, gain traction and zip you right on out of that muddy mess you were in.
Sarah Young said, "The dew of His presence refreshes our mind and our heart." That is all it takes for us change our situation.
In our scripture reading from 1 Corinthians the point is made that God is not the author of confusion but of peace. He wants you to be happy. He is more than willing to help when you are stuck in the mud. But it requires some effort and understanding on your own part.
Dropping the excuses and being determined to hear what the instructions are from above. God is not the perpetrator of chaos. He is the liberator. Trust comes first. Then our faith in Him gives us leverage. We start feeling those wheels stop spinning and start to catch.
Paul points out that the Lord wants "peace as in all the churches of the saints." Basically he is saying that this will come from all these congregations obeying and following his directives.
Chaos occurs when we get stuck in the mud, start spinning our wheels and frustration creeps in. When we Go to him for the answers and follow his directives the methods by which wrongs will be righted come into play.
Wheel spinning will stop. It will start us moving to solid ground where we move forward, no longer stuck in a morass of mud."
Realizing that these are different times because the challenge of defeating this virus is unlike other battles we have fought before. So, all of the points made in this 5-year old devotion may not be relevant. But what is true is that we do not have to feel defeated by the restrictions we are under. There is a battle going on in our minds that if allowed to take root will give us that stuck-in-the-mud feeling that discourages us.
The solution is the same. Allow the Lord to change our mentality and rescue us from stuck-in-the-mud depression. When praising Him and giving thanks we crowd out those feelings that get us stuck and replace them with positive and uplifting thoughts.
`Then we remember that God is in control and He has brought us through difficult times before.
Monday Prayer: Lord we give thanks and praise to you the author and finisher of our faith. The One who moves us forward when we feel stuck and unable to free ourselves. You bring peace instead of chaos into our lives. Thank you! Amen!