Monthly Archives: May 2014

Stuck places

 

We all get stuck. Stuck at points of our life that cripple us in the days ahead. From that “stuck place” we find that we now “walk with a limp.” Something happened, we were hurt, wounded, broken, abused, sinned against. A parent died, a wife left, a child became ill, and we got stuck at that terrible event…at that moment in our life.

I’m finding that the problems in people’s lives are often the result of their stuck places. From that wound, that death, that divorce we are emotionally stuck and cannot go further, cannot grow, cannot walk away from the wound and so we carry our wounded-ness with us and sadly create stuck places for others we encounter. We are the walking wounded, the mass of humanity stuck in the past hurts and wounds of our lives that have affected us and now affect those around us.

Stuck places…places we remember vividly because of what they have done to us, moments in time we have recorded in our brains we can replay in high definition detail. We are stuck because of what happened, because of what someone said, what they did to us, how they hurt us. We remember every detail, every moment. We are stuck.

This morning I was visiting with a friend and described my thoughts on this topic. He knew immediately his stuck place and described it in fine detail, as if it had happened yesterday, but in fact it was decades ago. It was life changing for him, he’s never forgotten it, he knew exactly when, where and how he got stuck. It’s changed him, it changed his family and his life.

Another man I visited with has struggled with alcohol and drugs for more than 20 years. I asked him when he started drinking, doing drugs. He replied, “I started drinking when I was 12.” My next question changed everything in our visit. I asked, “what happened when you were 12 that made you look for something to dull the pain?” He lowered his head, he was quiet for a moment, and then he replied, “my baseball coach sodomized me…..” There was silence for a moment, but I knew right away that he was stuck at that event in his history. It had affected his life, his family and his path. He was stuck! I told him, “It’s not your fault.” He broke down and wept, broken, stuck, wanting out, but stuck at 12 years of age.

I know this may not fit with all the counseling models I read about, but I also know that I am seeing this more clearly in each visit I have with someone who is having a difficult time in life, something happened and they got stuck.

Another man I know grew up in a horrible home situation and ran away from the abuse and brutality of his family at the age of 13. Imagine things being so bad that you run away from home at 13. Now, even as an adult, when things get difficult, conflict happens in his life, relationships are hard, he runs away. He’s stuck at the tender age of 13 and doesn’t know how to resolve his brokenness, his stuck-ness in the pain of his past and so he lives it out in how he makes choices today, more than 30 years later.

Imagine this multiplied by 6 billion. The whole of humanity stuck in the pain and hurt, rejection and abuse of their pasts. Imagine the wounds that are still open, still tender, still bleeding from what has happened in our pasts. Imagine what can happen when even one person brings all their mess, all their stuck-ness to God to resolve.

Where was Jesus when you were hurt, when you were rejected, when you were abused? Where was God when you got stuck? He was right there with you, walking with you through your hurts, your abuse, your divorce, your rejection. It’s his great desire that we take our brokenness to him, our stuckness if you will, and allow him to heal, restore, and move you past the pain, past that moment that got you stuck.

My friend who was sodomized at 12 is doing much better, he’s no longer a broken hurting 12 year old boy. He’s a man beginning to recover. It’s available to everyone, no matter what happened, no matter where you got stuck, Jesus came to dissolve the glue of our past, erase the pain of our wounds, heal the scars of our encounters and make us new.

Paul described it this way, 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation (something brand new!) has come: The old has gone, the new is here (present tense)! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. (getting us “unstuck”) And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Are you stuck? Jesus can fix that.

 

Grace

One of the great blessings of Christianity is the work of grace done by Jesus on the cross.  In that dark and terrible day Jesus accomplished redeption, forgiveness of sin and so much more.  He also made it possible for us to recover from a sin like the one this site discusses and find a place to serve God once more.

I have the great joy of meeting almost every week with our former pastor whose sin motivated me to write these posts.  He told me he’s closer to God in his walk now than he has ever been.  He’s even looking for a way to once more serve God in ministry of some kind.  I’m thrilled for the redeeming work of God that grace makes possible.  I’m glad God can redeem lives we would never consider worthy of redemption.  We seem to be more comfortable dismissing the sinners among us rather than forgiving, redeeming and restoring them, but thankfully God loves the sinner too much to let them be thrown on the trash heap of failed lives.

I’m thankful for the grace of God that provides redemption, restoration and healing for all of us.