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Help! I feel stuck in my life!
A few years ago, my husband Randy and I went to an event out at a local campsite.
The entire event was centered around celebrating spiritual growth in people’s lives.
After a night of encouragement, prayer, great preaching, and amazing music, we went to get in our car to go home.
But due to the huge number of people there and the very few parking spots available, everyone was packed in like sardines in the parking lot.
We were some of the first to arrive at the event, so we would likely be some of the last to leave.
As we were getting in our car, we looked in front of us, beside us, and behind us, and noticed that there was barely a foot on any side of our car.
We would not be going anywhere in a hurry that night. It took nearly an hour for us to get to leave the parking lot that night.
Indeed, we were hemmed in and could not move.
Sometimes in life, we are HEMMED in. (Or, we at least feel that way.)
Maybe you feel like that today?
More recently, I have felt stuck in my life.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling especially hemmed in.
In almost every single aspect of my world, I felt stuck.
Truly, I couldn’t go backward, forward, sideways, over, under, or around. I was hemmed in on every side, just like we were in the parking lot that night.
Although I won’t go into the details, I bet you can relate. I was ready to give up!
Have you felt stuck?
In a relationship?
Or, in your marriage?
Perhaps with your children or grandchildren?
Or, in your job?
Maybe with your finances?
At your church?
Possibly, with your health?
Or with some situation that you cannot do anything about?
All of us have times when we feel stuck in our lives.
So, what do we do when we start to feel this way??
The other day, I was having my devotional time with the Lord and feeling very stuck.
During that devotion, it was like God whacked me on the head.
Have you ever had that happen?
One of my mentors, a precious teacher named Faye Hardy, taught me that God will speak to us as we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
She said that while you’re going to church, listening to sermons, listening to Christian music, or having your devotions, God can speak to you right there.
Hope in my devotions when I feel stuck in my life.
As I opened my daily devotional to read the words that I was to read that day, I was confronted with God’s answer to my feeling stuck.
Often, I have found that when I hear a message or the same truth more than one time, I need to turn my ears to a high volume.
They got on HIGH VOLUME that day.
I’m reading a devotional called, Resilient Hope, that’s been incredibly encouraging.
Words of Encouragement when I was feeling stuck.
And on that day when I was struggling, I opened the devotion to a new day.
This was the topic of the devotional, “Don’t Jump Ship!”
And here was the verse for that particular devotion: Acts 27:30-32.
“Some sailors tried to escape from the ship they had let down the skiff into the sea.
Pretending that they were going to put out anchors from the bow.
Paul said to the Centurion and the soldiers,
‘Unless these men stay on the ship, you cannot be saved.’
Then the soldiers cut the ropes holding the skiff and let it drop away.”
They stayed on the ship!
Moreover, they didn’t try to escape or jump off the ship!
Stay on the Ship – Even When You Feel Stuck.
This is what the devotional (Resilient Hope) said that day:
“I don’t know what you’re facing, but let this first encourage you.
Don’t jump ship in your relationship with Jesus.
Instead, hold on to whatever Jesus has told you.
Hold on to who he is and to who you are in him.
And… Hold on to all he’s promised you in his word.
Remember, He is faithful even when people may not be.”
A Closing Prayer
And then the little prayer at the end of the devotional says this,
“Heavenly Father, I will not jump ship, I will stay on board.”
At that moment, I knew God was speaking to me!
“Melanie, stay on the ship!
Don’t try to jump off or escape!”
That same day…
After reading that devotional article about staying on the ship, I got an email from a friend of mine who writes devotions.
Her name is Dominique Young and she’s this precious Christian sister online and on YouTube.
The title of her devotional that day was, “Faithful Where God Has Me.”
Here’s what she shared about when we feel stuck in life.
“What will you do when you find yourself in an undesirable situation?
I encourage you to cling to God and remain faithful because you never know who God will reach, what lessons He will teach, and what ways He will make from your faithfulness!
So, cling to Him, trust Him, remain faithful to Him, and watch Him use your faithfulness for the most powerful mission there is, to bring others closer to Him so that they may experience the love, grace, mercy, and identity that only God can give.”
Perhaps today, you feel hemmed in as I did?
Perhaps today, you feel hemmed in as I did? What can you do?
You can stay on the ship as long as God leaves you there!
If there is an open door, no way to escape, and nowhere to go – you need to stay!!
Georgia Pastor James Merritt, who ordained my husband and gave him his first ministry position on a church staff, shared this wisdom with us.
“I’d rather be six months behind God than two steps ahead of Him.
Don’t try to get ahead of God.
Wait on Him to move you!”
My best encouragement to you today is what I was encouraged with on that morning when I felt like God spoke to me…
When you find yourself hemmed in, stuck in a parking lot between many cars, stay put!
Don’t fight it.
Stay on the boat.
Truly… You remain faithful where God has you!
Psalm 37:7 reminds us to, “Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act.”
Because we often have no idea what God is up to!
A Wonderful Story about My Missionary Friends.
The day after I read those two devotionals, I went to my church and a missionary was sharing his story.
This missionary and his wife serve in a tough place on the mission field – one I can’t mention online.
During Covid, most Americans left and went home.
Much unrest and violence took place all around them as well. In fact, most of the missionaries left.
However, they stayed.
Even when family members and friends begged them to leave, they stayed.
They felt like God wanted them to stay on the ship!
Truly, they believed that God did not want them to leave their post!
The Sweetness that came from staying put.
There was a great sweetness that came from my missionary friends staying put!
Staying brought about the salvation of many – over 75 people have come to Christ!
They led these people to Christ because they stayed put – where God had them.
Also, many new churches were started during all of the chaos.
Was it easy? No!
Was it worth it? Absolutely, yes!
Here’s your word for the day – when you feel stuck.
The message for today is: Stay put!
When you and I want to give up the most is often when God is about to do something amazing!
That’s what I’m counting on!
Until God releases me and you, we must be faithful RIGHT WHERE WE ARE!
My sweet Pastor growing up, Adrian Rogers, shared it this way…
“Faith is believing in God despite appearances.”
Someone needs to hear this today…
Stay on the ship!!
Don’t jump ship today!
As we close today…
Would you do us a favor as we close today?
If you have been encouraged, would you share our ministry with a friend, co-worker, or family member?
Your shares help this ministry to grow!
And, we so appreciate you and are blessed to have you as a part of our community!
We are ordinary women, but we serve an extraordinary God!
He will take care of us – especially as we stay on the ship and trust Him with the future.
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