Getting Unstuck

Teresa was flying home for the third time to see her father. He partied hard in his young days and was paying for a life of alcohol and drug use. Congestive heart failure and liver problems took him off his chemo-therapy regime, and Teresa was flying home to meet with the doctors. She felt numb, and it surprised her. She loved her father, even though he hadn’t been much of one for most of her life. Blatantly aware that she wasn’t nearly as emotional as she thought other daughters would be in this situation, her face was empty and braced for a long stay. He had not hugged or encouraged her ever, and it was hard to let love for him overpower the tension of feeling both obligated and burdened, so she acquiesced to not feeling anything at all.

For the last hour, waves of mindless chatter occupied her mind as she gazed at billowy clouds through the plane window. Then a question pierced through, “Is this how it’s going to be for me?” Without really discerning if it was a question for God or for her, the empty space of no answer left her sad and feeling powerless. That’s how she felt when she walked through the airport, gathered her bags, and taxied to the hospital. That’s how she felt when she saw her father, emotionless and not thrilled to see her, and that’s how she felt when she thought about the future before her.

Teresa had not only allowed her feelings and emotions to flatline about the situation with her father, but this is how she had faced her own life for many years. Even though at 34 she had an existence most single women in their twenties aspire to achieve, she wasn’t content. She worked so very hard but didn’t enjoy life. Almost a year after her father passed away, everything in her life seemed to fall apart, and she blamed God for it. Even though she had good health, a good job, and money in the bank, she was still disappointed with life, and grieving over her father made it worse. Everything felt like a chore, and internally she was more fragmented than she had ever been.

When we go through troubles and tribulation, they can make our emotions even more perplexing. If we could get to the root of what ails us, most of us think we can turn things around, but we really can’t by ourselves. The root is beyond our reach. We are born into a sinful world with sin in our bodies. Whether we admit it or not, the sin issue is for all of us the root of all our problems. Romans 3:23(KJV) tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The Good News of Jesus Christ is that God didn’t leave us in a perpetual state of chaos, confusion, death, and darkness. He rescued us through Jesus Christ. John 3:16(ESV) declares that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

There are millions of people that have heard or read John 3:16. They may even have more than an cursory understanding of it, but unless the overwhelming power and truth of what God accomplished for us through Christ connects with our hearts, the traps of sin may continue to ensnare us. For each of us, there’s some stuff deep down on the inside. Some of it may even be nameless or identifiable to our consciousness, but it’s there, subtly operating underneath and waiting for an opening to slip through and come to the surface. You and I are not always aware of the inter-working of our souls, but rest assured, God is always aware. Psalm 44:21(NLT) says, “21 God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart.” God is our Creator, and He knows our hearts and everything there is to know about us.

It’s no surprise to any of us that a person’s soul can be suffering and crying out on the inside, and this same person can look like a picture of wholeness and happiness on the outside. Most of us recognize that the real action is on the inside. Turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to our internal aches and pains will only make them louder. They become more apparent as our outer or external reality mirrors our internal reality. We might feel that we have no control, that we’re powerless to stop the vicious cycle of negativity that seems to have gripped our lives.

It’s one of the many signs that tell us we need to turn to Jesus Christ. We need to allow his healing power to comfort and deliver us, but some of us have listened to the voice of our pain for so long that we have made doubt and skepticism a fixture in our souls. We’re dug in with thoughts that oppose God’s promises. We’ve closed our minds and hearts off with four walls that make fear and disappointment feel right at home. They make us inflexible to God and pliable to insecurity, and this puts a sign across our souls that love is not welcome. We neither let it out or let it in.

This doesn’t feel good. How can it? Teresa was stuck. She thought she had to be the manager of her life with no help. She had not recognized that when we become born again in the Lord Jesus Christ, HE becomes the manager of our lives. He leads the way and we follow him. It is important for us to know this so that we don’t become stuck in life. No matter the challenge or struggle, Jesus Christ is our hope! 

We must know that our original identity is defined by God, and this identity is Jesus Christ. He is all that God intends us to be. You might think, “Well I’m far from that!” As long as you continue to be in the driver’s seat of your life, you may well be. But when you let Jesus Christ take the wheel, it doesn’t matter how far away you may be, you can have every hope that you will land in the place that God has destined you to be, and Jesus Christ will get you there. It’s impossible for him to fail. Romans 5:5 tells us that our hope in him will not disappoint because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

1Peter 1:3(ESV) exclaims, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Never forget that in order to be on the side of love, we must be on the side of hope in Christ! He is our Redeemer, and our hearts should respond to the truth of John 3:16 by celebrating God with the hope that is in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

There’s no question that life can be very challenging and disappointing, but our victory is in Jesus Christ. Hebrews 3:16(NLT) says, “But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.” Many of us have developed the habit of allowing our feelings to dictate our state of being, we must unlearn that. We must allow the truth of what God says and our standing in Christ to rule over our lives.

God tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24(ESV) “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Give yourself the gift of allowing Christ to be the head of your life. Renew your mind by changing the way you think and invite the Holy Spirit to do a work in your heart. God created us to be in partnership with Him, and it requires us to study His Word. Don’t lean on your feelings. Lean on the truth of what God says. When we do this, our hearts and minds will change, and our lives will follow.■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.

“Getting Unstuck”, written by JMack,© 2023. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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