Feeling Stuck?

Feeling stuck is universal for us all. Maybe you feel stuck in a relationship that’s difficult or stuck taking care of someone with a sickness. How about stuck teaching your kids from home? Or stuck financially trying your best to make a dent but it just doesn’t seem to be working. Are you stuck waiting on a vaccine? Are you stuck in winter waiting for spring?

One thing, I’m grateful our presidential inauguration is over. I was feeling pretty stuck for awhile, that in between is the pits for me. Waiting on the new while still in the old.
For me it feels like you are straddling between a boat and the shore, not all the way in the boat and not fully on land yet.

Sometimes jumping from that boat to land is a leap of faith. It’s a hold your breath, close your eyes and hope the ground is still there when you jump.

In Hebrews 12:1-2 it tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So as we take our leap of faith, whatever that looks like for you, let’s not focus on ourselves. We know how that will go, like Peter we’ll sink. The ground will be there when you jump, because Jesus is our ground. He cannot be moved. He is here and there.

Hebrews tells us,

  1. Have hope many people trusted their faith in times just like we are living. We are not the first and we won’t be the last.
  2. Lay off your struggles with sin. It was finished on the cross.
  3. Look at Jesus. Surrender to Him. When your eyes fall to yourself, train yourself to look back up. The pressure is on the One who is in your growing and perfecting your faith.
  4. Remember Jesus endured so we could run, move and have freedom to live for Him in these in-between times.

We are never truly stuck if we have Jesus.

New Mercies

I keep seeing this word: mercy.  In my quiet time this was the verse for today with the caption: choose grace.

Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

The old testament talks about God being slow to anger and abounding in grace and mercy.  We get annoyed with Israelites after a few rounds of their complaints.  We don’t always associate grace and mercy with God in our crisis or even our daily life.  Normally my words to myself are “Can’t you get it together?”  “Why are you anxious about that, it’s not a big deal?”  Frustration.  Lack of empathy.

We think if we show compassion to our neighbors or ourselves, we are giving a pass.  However, it is clear this is important way of living in scripture.  I think modern psychology would agree.  Punishment does not equal lasting change or a “good head on our shoulders.”

What if we let feelings pass, if we slowed down long enough to see if we needed something, made time to be quiet to hear and listen.  We are scared though huh?  Scared if we stop what we might hear.  Well, I can promise you this.  Just from this Hebrews verse alone, we can know our God is gracious and cannot wait until we come to Him to receive the mercy and grace undeserved, but that He wants to lavish on us anyways.

We can wake up tomorrow and do it differently if we know we have grace and mercy.  Perfectionism comes when we think we will be punished.  Punished for anything and everything.  Not a great way to live.

Example: I’ve felt guilty my kids don’t help pick up much, I bear the burden of most of that.  Now, I could stay there punishing myself-which means I will try harder to keep the house neat and tidy and get angry when our third runs through the living room pouring legos all over the floor or my oldest says he’s just too tired.

Or grace and mercy say, tomorrow is a new day.  Make a stride.  You can’t fail at this, because grace will meet you when you lose your cool as I teach my children to pick up.  And lets be honest, may grace meet me when I succeed, keeping me humble not trusting to much in my own ability to get it right.

So where can you give yourself mercy and grace?  Giving it to yourself means you’ll give it to others too.

Whatever it is, you got this.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself today!

Remember: Lamentations 3:23 “…His mercies are new every morning.”