When You Feel a Little Stalled
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
I hung on to a vine to climb over one more rock. My heart was beating hard, and I struggled to catch my breath.
My friend turned in concern. "Are you okay?"
Well, yes and no.
When we started the hike I knew it was challenging, but I hiked often and this wasn't my first tough trail to navigate. What I didn't anticipate was the combination of elevation and the steepness of the climb.
I paused for a few moments until my heart rate settled down and my lungs expanded to catch a breath. While waiting, I soaked in the sight of water splashing down over huge rocks and tree branches bending down as if to pray. Roots from hundred-year-old trees laced up the trail.
Yes, the path was hard, and it required more of me than I thought, but it was worth it.
Sometimes our faith can feel the same way. We started this journey because we wanted more of Jesus, but somewhere along the way it got hard.
In those hard times you might even feel stalled. And it's at those moments when the enemy can declare you're a failure or you don't measure up. May I share something with you?
Feeling stalled is different than being stagnant.
Feeling stalled can be a result of moving forward. There was a time you didn't even know you weren't moving, and now — because of what God has done in your heart — you are aware of those days when old behavior or feelings creep in. You know when you feel further from God.
Stagnant, on the other hand, is never moving. It's staying away from the hard parts. It's throwing your hands in the air and giving up.
So, what do you do when you feel stalled?
Celebrate how far you've come.
Look back. Where did you begin? How have you grown? Check out the beauty of what God has already done within you.
Ask for wisdom.
You don't have to figure out the entire journey. Ask God for the next step, and the next after that. He promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5).
Allow Him to work in you before you move on.
On the mountain, my body was signaling that I wasn't getting enough oxygen. I needed to breathe deeply. To allow my heart rate to rest. Perhaps this is the perfect time to allow God to fill you or give you the necessary tools before you move ahead.
Invite God into that stalled place.
In Isaiah 43:2, we are promised that God walks with us through hard times. Our key verse says: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
When I stopped to rest on the mountain, my friend sat beside me. That harder place turned into a time of conversation and kinship.
Your stalled place can be a time of intimacy with a God who loves you deeply.
And what about when you finally arrive?
When I finished the hike, I lay in the grass and threw my arms out at my sides in exhaustion and joy.
I had experienced sights that I would have never experienced otherwise. I learned what I could do, and what might help me the next time around.
If you've been feeling a little stalled, take heart. Feeling stalled is different than being stagnant. With God's help, your stalled place can become a beautiful part of the adventure.
Dear Lord, I feel a little stalled today, but I praise You because I am not stagnant. Thank You for helping me find You in the hard places of my faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 61:2, "From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety." (NLT)
Isaiah 30:15b, "... in quietness and trust is your strength ..." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
C. S. Lewis said, "Feelings come and go, and when they come a good use can be made of them, but they cannot be our regular spiritual diet." How does this quote resonate with you?
Just as Suzie filled her lungs with air when she was feeling stalled, what is one way you can fill up spiritually when you feel a little stalled?