Have You Ever Been Stuck?

Cup_of_Coffee.GIFI’ve been thinking lately about being "stuck."  Being stuck is to feel trapped or unable to move.  Doesn’t sound fun does it?  Yet, I think many of us know what it means to be stuck. 

  • We can become stuck in the way we relate to one another in marriage.  We continue to behave in the same manner toward one another and get the same results.
  • We can become stuck in the way we relate to our children or parents.  What we are doing seems to create such a negative atmosphere in our home.
  • We can become stuck in the way we handle ourselves at work.  We continue to approach our work in the same old tired way.  Our jobs may feel boring and without purpose.

One of the greatest obstacles that many of us face is to become stuck in our thinking.  In our minds, we have very few options.  It is either black/white.  It is either/or.  Maybe that is true at times, but some people seem to reduce all of life to this.  As a result, they continually lean toward whatever is low risk and fairly predictable.

Being stuck feels hopeless and lifeless.  Feeling stuck has a way of sucking the energy out of you.  "Oh well," you sigh in resignation.

This is familiar territory for me.  On more than one occasion, I have experienced defeat — not on the battlefield but in my mind.  I felt as if I had few, if any, options and was basically trapped in my circumstances as they existed.  This kind of thinking made me feel tired and unmotivated.  "What’s the use?"  I was bogged down and stuck.  However, it was not the impossible circumstances of my life that created those feelings.  Rather, it was my failure to trust in the God who redefines the meaning of "possible." 
There is another way to live.  I love the words Jesus uttered in Mark 10 after challenging a "stuck" person to sell all he had and give to the poor.  This person was stuck or attached to his possessions.  The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ words, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" (10:23).  The more he talked, the more amazed they were.  Finally, they began to say to one another, "Who then can be saved?"  Then, Jesus said these amazing words:

…With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.  (Mark 10:27)

God can even deliver a person who is stuck in the bondage of his possessions!  God can change the most impossible person.  God can set free a person who has been in bondage to a destructive habit, addiction, or lifestyle.  God can set free our thinking.  Instead of focusing on what is possible for a human being to do, I can begin to focus on God.  Jesus reminds us that our God is not limited by what is possible for a human being to accomplish.

Perhaps my focus needs to be not on myself, my limitations, and my inadequacies.  Perhaps my focus needs to be on God and his unlimited power and his adequacy.

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently.  Can you recall a time when your thinking became stuck?  What in particular was or has been helpful to you in getting unstuck?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “Have You Ever Been Stuck?

  1. As a new Mom, with six-month old twins and a husband who travelled constantly for work, I was overwhelmed. Maybe overwhelmed is an understatement. I didn’t want to get out of bed most days. I was stuck in self-pity and felt trapped–both in my attitude and my lot in life. (Diapers and feedings, feedings and diapers!) I have a dear friend with triplets the same age as my boys. One morning she called me and invited me over with the babies–she had just gotten a shipment of rice cereal and wanted to divide it up. (She was always getting us a big discount on something–bless her!) I declined her offer. I remember telling her, “I don’t think I’ll even leave the couch today, much less the house. I just don’t think I can do this, E.” About an hour later, my dear friend and her THREE babies showed up at my door, with Starbucks and a serious dose of “Buck up, girl. God gave you these babies, and He gave them YOU. You can do this.” Realizing how much harder it was for her to get out, yet here she was bringing me Starbucks, really shook me out of my pity. I started getting out more with the boys, and reaching out to other new moms who may be feeling isolated. My attitude changed that day, and my life as a Mom has been fuller and richer than I ever could have imagined.

  2. I can think of several times in my life when I felt "stuck", overwhelmed by circumstances that were different than I wished to have.  I have found the Psalms to be a valuable resource at times like that.  Whatever you’re feeling, you can find it in the Psalms.  The writer takes you through those feelings and then directs your eyes toward God.  Exactly what I need when I’m floundering and stuck!

  3. I was really struck by this quote – I heard it in passing, so I don’t remember the source (but it’s not me): “The healthiest people are those who have learned to live in the ‘and’.”
    The "and" is between the extremes where we want to live (where we get stuck).  The "and" is the balanced life that Jesus lived with righteous anger and holy forgiveness.  "And" is God’s otherness and his presence. 

  4. Wow James – I love the idea of living in the “and” – that is great… it deals with the reality that we face contradictions and paradox – things that can get us “stuck.” Also the overwhelming sense I had before reading through the comments was, “praise God.” I don’t mean that lightly I sincerely want to say – thank God that what seems impossible to us – through His grace and willingness to enter into our state – we can get unstuck – not on what we do or don’t do; but on the merit of His mercy. I have encountered such mercy and I want to thank Him for that.

  5. Robyn,A wonderful comment!  I am going to suggest several friends in our church that they read your comment.  What a wonderul friend you have.Thanks! 

  6. L.L."Destucker"–now that ought to be a word if it is not one already.I agree with what you said regarding "playing."