Yesterday morning, TJ and I were out mowing, trimming bushes and picking up trash along the creek. I know you are wondering why on earth my son was home on a school day doing this. Well, that is a long story, and a blog for another day. Let’s just say he was doing a little payback for making a bad choice. Anyway, as I was mowing on the tractor, I went a little too close to an area that I will refer to as our “wetland” area. Next thing I know my tractor is stuck in the mud. Deep in the mud. I yelled to TJ to come help me and the two of us pushed and pulled with no luck. We even decided to lay some cardboard under the mower to help the wheels grasp on to something, but still the tractor didn’t budge. Since I was covered from head to toe in mud, I decided I might as well finish up the yard before I showered, so the two of us each got a push mower and finished the lawn. Can I tell you that I looked like a muddy, grassy mess after all this?
Later last night, my sister, Sandy, who I will refer to as “superwoman” came over and helped me push the tractor out of the thick gunk. I promptly washed off the tractor, and thanked God for Sandy! I am sure I don’t need to tell all of you how sore I am today from all that yard work. TJ seemed to hop out of bed with no problem whatsoever. My body on the other hand took quite a toll.
What does all of this have to do with faith? Oh, let me tell you! My faith recently has felt like it is “stuck in the mud.” I cannot seem to shake this feeling that I am missing something in my faith life. I love what I do for our church, BUT (you knew there was a but coming there didn’t you?) I feel like I am doing the wrong things. So, just like my tractor, I am feeling at a complete stop in my life. Stuck in the mud, yet able to work, just not sure how to get started again. Does that sound familiar?
So here are the steps I am going to take to re-evaluate God’s Will:
1) Pray for God to show me clearly His path. (this might take several days because first I need to get myself ready to hear God’s Will)
2) Look at what I currently am doing for God. (mother, wife, singer, bell ringer, speaker, writer, blogger, bible study participant, mentor mom and retreat coordinator)
3) Pray about each of these ministries.
4) Realize that when I take on a ministry I have to remember that I am taking that ministry away from someone else (and is that what God wants me to do).
5) Talk with my family about my ministries.
6) Look to scripture for help and stay in tune daily with the little ways that God talks to me.
7) Never make a decision off the cuff, always pray for a while (this can be months for me). I may even go back and forth with my decision process.
You see, when I get myself stuck in the mud, I have to spend time with God to figure out how I got there in the first place. Maybe it was my inability to say “no.” Maybe it was my own ignorance. Maybe I just thought that God needed only me to do that ministry. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention and the next thing I know I have taken on something else. There are many reasons that I get myself stuck. The key is getting myself unstuck.
Now yesterday, my sister pulled me out of the mud. Sometimes God works that way. Sometimes when I am stuck, I need someone else to help. Remember how TJ and I tried and tried and still could not get that tractor out? Sometimes God uses just the right person to help. You have to be open to several people working on your faith life. Sometimes God uses circumstances to help you get out of your rut. I suppose if I waited long enough, the mud would have dried up and the tractor would have been easily moved by just me. Patience. That is something I have never been good at, but that is exactly what God calls us to do sometimes when we are stuck in the mud. Just be patient.
I prayed a lot yesterday for God’s help. Of course I was praying for that darn tractor to get unstuck, but I do the same when I need God’s help in my faith life. Recently, I prayed for God’s help when I realized I was in a rut. God opened the door to a fabulous bible study for me to do. My own mom came to me with a study that she had just started. She was so excited about it that I just couldn’t say no. What do you know? That very first study, Anne Graham Lotz talked about how “busy” she is doing God’s work and how that “busyness” caused her to feel exhausted and tired. Sound familiar? This bible study is just what I needed to get out of my rut. It is bringing me back to prayer. God uses all kinds of resources to help us. Just be open to them all.
Being stuck in the mud certainly isn’t fun. It can be overwhelming when you cannot understand or hear God’s call. It can be depressing when you are doing so much for God’s Glory, but you still feel yucky. God’s Will is not something that stays the same. It varies. It helps you grow in your faith. Once you have accomplished one of His goals, he will bring on a new goal. Don’t get stuck in the mud by doing the same thing over and over. God wants our faith life to be stretched and molded to fit His plan. He wants us to be open to change and trust Him above all else. Are you feeling stuck in the mud today?