Spinning our wheels

Last Sunday evening, the MCF held its first ONLINE ALPHA session of 2022. ALPHA gatherings include a bit of socializing to start, followed by a short video and then questions. One of the first questions asked in ALPHA is “If you could ask God any question, what it would be?”. Those wanting to respond are allowed to do so. A couple of people shared they wanted to ask God a question along the lines, “God when I felt stuck and couldn’t seem to move forward, I want to know why you didn’t give me a push?” It is a good question that has probably been asked by all Christians one or more times in their walk with the Lord.  

On the evening before Jesus was arrested and led away to be crucified, He and His disciples ate the Passover meal together. The Gospel of John provides details of that evening including Jesus’ words of guidance, comfort, and hope. During the evening Jesus is identified as sharing these words, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV). Jesus knew that at times His followers would become stuck in their walk. His analogy of the vine and its branches reminded us that we are not meant to walk God’s path alone. We are to be connected to the source of our power and authority which comes from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.   

The comparison of being stuck in the mud was suggested as a way to visualize the question being asked of God. Being stuck, unable to move forward or backwards, and knowing that a push would free us, leads to frustration. What happens when we get our vehicle stuck? A little bit of panic sinks in and most begin to move the gears between forward and reverse hoping to rock the vehicle free.

Some may step out of the vehicle to look at their situation but their eagerness to get free prevents them from conducting a thorough examination to determine what may be causing them to be stuck. They get back in, rocking their car, spinning their tires, and possibly worsening the situation. 

Instead of focusing on being stuck, we need to ask ourselves why we are stuck. Are we trying to do something without asking if it’s God’s will? Are we doing something we believe is good for the kingdom and after we get stuck, we decide to talk with God inviting Him to be part of whatever we are doing? Have we neglected our time with the Lord or did we pray, but did not get an answer fast enough, did we then try to move forward on our own? Some who become unstuck can recall how they were freed. They looked to the source of the problem. After careful consideration they realized it might involve clearing some obstacles out of the way (possible sin), putting a foundation under the wheels (remaining grounded in scripture and prayer), or seeking help from others (trusting God is in control and listening for His guidance). Sometimes we are meant to get stuck to remind us we can do nothing without being connected to God.