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Stuck in the Mud Again-October 31, 2022

There are more ways to get stuck in the mud besides being in a car.

Monday Morning Devotion-October 31, 2022

Stuck in the Mud, Again

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.


     Four years ago I was stuck in the mud.  Well, not actually, but kinda. I’m sure as you read this you will think about some situations in your life in which you felt like your life was stuck in the mud like a car with the wheels spinning and going nowhere. Here’s what I was experiencing then, and still do, sometimes.

     As I write this devotion I am fresh off a stuck in the mud experience. Well, not mud, maybe even worse.  Yesterday I was driving along, in town, headed to a dental appointment, ---we all love those don't we?  When I stopped at a red-light I saw smoke drift across the hood of my car.  "Must be coming from the car in front of me, "  We always think it's the other guy's fault, right?

            Well, when I got to another red-light my car choked down.  Coincidence, huh?  Then as I came to the top of a hill in front of the State Capital building, a busy intersection, I saw that it was me.  Smoke was pouring out from under my hood.  This same car that had been in for service just a week ago. They just don't make 'em like they used to.  This car is only 17-years old.

            So, AAA towed it for me and now the wait begins to see what's wrong and even more important what it will cost.

            Anyway, that reminded me of another devotion from a few years back when I read the following- passage by Sarah Young:

               "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 or smoking-car-engjne depression that can descend on us.

              Found some food for thought on

            First of all, 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. Savor 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 or in my case the car engine stop steaming and the car running smoothly.

            Sarah Young said, "The dew of His presence refreshes our mind and our heart."  That is all it takes for us to 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 or alongside the road or just in life circumstances.  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, the motor stops smoking and the engine cranks up and the life problem that seemed so huge starts to clear up.

            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 because God is the "author of peace, not chaos." 

            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.  The engine will quit smoking.  It will start us moving to solid ground where we move forward, no longer stuck in a morass of mud or engine stalling.

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 move.  You bring peace instead of chaos into our lives.  Amen!


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