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No Man's Land

"The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘Lord, save me!”- Psalm 116:3-4

The feeling of being stuck can be tremendously terrifying and downright defeating. Unless you are an avid cave diver, being in tight crevices and dark quarters is a hopeless place. One time my sister and I got stuck on an elevator with a stranger (talk about a doubly whammy). Our tower of terror experience felt unending, until the doors suddenly opened to my grandmother waiting for us with bagels and the offer to stay home from school.

Wherever we find ourselves stuck in life, the Lord is waiting there with His faithful presence and loving care. The Apostle Paul needed this type of unfailing encounter to get him unstuck from some tough times and tight squeezes. In Acts 18:9-10, Jesus meets His servant with this special message (way better than a bagel and day off from school), “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

The Lord is not wanting us to be overwhelmed by our present surroundings. Many feel stuck in a bad job, trapped in a dead marriage, incapacitated by a health crisis, paralyzed by fear, riddled with bad luck, and taunted by their past. There is a story for those stuck in messes: A veteran still coming to grips with the trauma of warfare; A parent who cannot forgive themselves for not being more present and consistent in their children’s lives; A believer who seemingly is choosing the right path but finds themselves getting the wrong results.

Moses provides us with a great example of what to do when trapped in the middle of trouble. With the Red Sea in front of him and the Egyptian army in hot pursuit from behind, this man of God speaks faith and victory to his dilemma. In Exodus 14:13-14 Moses declares, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” In the midst of the trap, call on the Lord, stand on His promise, and believe for the victory!

Jesus is present to open doors and set us free from that stuck feeling.


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