On Being Stuck

     One of life’s trouble spots is a place called Stuck. Stuck in the mud. Stuck in traffic. Stuck in the middle. Stuck in a blizzard. Stuck at work. Stuck in the past. Stuck in a rut. Stuck in a dead-end job. Stuck in a loveless marriage. Stuck in Life.
     We have all been stuck at one time or other. Being stuck is a frustrating feeling of helplessness and hopelessness; of being confused and overwhelmed; angry and powerless. You want to throw up your hands and quit or sit alone and feel sorry for yourself. What makes being stuck so hard is there seems to be no way out. It’s like having a life sentence in jail.
     In Paul’s letter to 11 Corinthians 12:7-10, he describes being stuck with a “thorn in the flesh. A messenger of Satan, to torment me.” He pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away. But the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
     What was this thorn in the flesh Paul complained about? Some scholars have suggested one the following:
Spiritual temptations; opposition and persecution; Paul’s physical appearance; epilepsy; severe headaches. Many scholars believe that Paul was afflicted with Malaria. This disease carries with it severe headaches, that pounding inside your head that seems endless. Whatever it was he was stuck with it. Ironically, the man who brought healing to so many could not have healing for himself. He was stuck with it.
     This current pandemic has made me feel stuck. It restricted me from doing home visits, hospital calls, spending time with those in nursing homes and making connections with newcomers to our Church. When will it ever end!
People are still dying from COVID-19. It has interfered with business, the arts, and restaurants. Long lines of hungry people wait for a weeks’ worth of food at food banks. Schools have tried in person classes while others have gone virtual. But the truth is “we feel stuck.”
     My prayers seem to go unanswered sometimes. I asked the Lord to make a way out for us through these dark and difficult days. But my prayers seem to end on God’s back burner. But I found hope when I listened to a beautiful song. “God Will Make a Way” by Don Moen. The lyrics go as follows:
God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way
By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and Earth will fade
But His Word will still remain
He will do something new today.
     This song is a song of promise. It is a song of hope too. Let the words permeate your mind as you journey through each day. It will bring comfort when you feel stuck.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Gene Wells