Have you ever been stuck or buried when someone showed up and started to help dig you out?  Two of my dear neighbors showed up this weekend with big snowblowers and unburied the whole neighborhood.  I was so thrilled and thankful that I ran outside in the middle of a snowstorm and gave one of them a hug while thanking him for being “Jesus with a snowblower” to his neighbors in need.  When my son made them homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread, I got to be the delivery boy and enjoyed hearing the stories of how my Christlike neighbors obtained their snowblowers and about their desire to help others.

My son was out delivering food to some people in our community and got his car stuck in the deep snow.  While he was unburying his car, he noticed that a young lady nearby was also stuck, and he helped to get her unburied and back on the road again.  As I’m reflecting with God on being “stuck”, I’m realizing that when we’re stuck, we begin to notice others around us who are also stuck.  Sometimes when we’re stuck, we’re on the receiving end when “Jesus-with-skin-on” people show up to help us.  At other times, the Holy Spirit gives us eyes to see the pain and problems of those around us, and He compels us to take action to help them to get unstuck.

As I’m spending more time in prayerful reflection, I’m being flooded with memories of all of the stuck seasons of life that I’ve survived as well as recalling all of the people and processes that God had ordained to help me get unburied and back on His path again.  Sometimes it’s our own compulsions, preoccupations, patterns, or addictions that keep us in bondage to sin, shame, and “stuckness”.  Other times it’s the buried, unhealed hurts in others’ lives that get projected onto us that we get stuck dealing with, and then we rehearse it in our minds, which makes us feel like we’re stuck in a pit with no way out.  Satan has all kinds of tactics to make us think that we’re stuck when Christ has come to set us free.

When my body isn’t working, my life isn’t working.  When my mind isn’t working, nothing else works.  When my family isn’t working, everything else comes to a halt.  When my job consumes me, everything else falls apart.  When my emotions are out-of-whack or when I’m full of grief, nothing else seems to matter.  When I stop reflecting and intentionally connecting with Jesus, everything falls apart.  If one of my boundaries is out-of-place, the rest of my life becomes completely unbalanced. 

How I thank God for sending us Jesus.  He was and is familiar with bitterest grief.  I wonder how The Father feels when His children turn away or against Him.  I’m so thankful that Jesus took our sin upon Himself, and by His stripes we were healed (Isaiah 53).  I’ll never forget when this 11-year-old boy found Jesus.  I’ll never forget when this 16 year-old boy got 53 inches of snow one weekend in Minnesota and shoveled off the roofs of all of my neighbors, jumped off of the roofs into the snow, and made big bucks.  I’ll never forget the people who came alongside me and helped me through my stuck seasons and who lightened my load.  I’ll never forget my spiritual breakthrough when Christ’s love changed everything, when I got unburied, and when I became free–a 41 year-old man with a fresh start.

Sometimes we can get so attached to our roles, our rituals, and our religion that we are blinded and cannot see that we are stuck.  We just expect everyone else to join us and do what we’re doing.  At other times we feel stuck but are enjoying just enough benefits from our places of stuckness that we decide to stay stuck and just complain and become bitter or shut down.  When our minds, our emotions, our bodies, and our relationships repeat destructive patterns, we need help getting unstuck.  We need Jesus to help us and to give us courage to reach out and ask for help.  What I’m learning is that Jesus is always with us, and when we’re ready for help and change, God sends us what we need.  We have to be ready to respond to other’s help in order to get unstuck; and many times we must be vulnerable, admit our problem, face our change needs, and flip the script-and-story that we’ve rehearsed over-and-over again.  We have to let God be in control, for He is Lord.  He still has good things that He’s planned in advance for us to do.

How do you perpetuate being or feeling or thinking that you’re stuck?

What familiar thought, place, pattern, or relationship must you leave to get better?

Who or what has the Lord sent to you to help lighten your load and to help you get unstuck?

How have you responded?

What “snowblowers” has God given to you to help those around you who seem to be stuck?

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