Stuck in the Middle

Stuck in the Middle

By Laura Morris

Do you remember the song Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel? It is a catchy song. There is a part that says, “I got a feelin’ that something ain’t right and I’m wondering what it is I should do?  It’s so hard to keep a smile on my face.” How many of us get to a point in our walk with God where we feel like we are stuck?  That we have the feeling that something is not right? We look at what is happening to us and nothing makes sense. We think that “this” is not how it’s supposed to be; or we think we can’t do “this”; it’s too hard!

We all get to that place, no matter what your “this” is, where God makes sure that it is unique to each of us. This place is where we do not understand the why or how of God.  Our thoughts say, “If God were good, how could He let this happen?” I have been there more times than I would like to admit. I was stuck in the middle with the lies of the enemy. I entertained these thoughts:

  • God doesn’t love me.
  • He doesn’t care enough about me to help or change it.

The pain is fierce: and the pain is real. The struggle has a grip.  How do we move out of that place of being stuck in the middle? There is no step by step answer; although most of us would like that. It is more of a moment by moment.  I find that if I stop and ask myself WHILE I AM IN THE MIDDLE:

  • God will you be stuck in the middle with me?
  • Will you change the lies to truth?
  • Will you change the sadness into rejoicing?
  • Will you change the doubt into faith?

I know you are thinking that would be great, but how do I do that? How can I make that shift? Well, I’m going to tell you something I know you don’t want to hear: The shift is a process. As I walk in the middle I am learning that:

  • The middle is where God is working when we can’t see it or feel it.
  • The middle is where God is making our roots deep in the dark.
  • The middle is where we learn the true Character of God.

Will you dare to trust Him while being stuck in the middle? Please join me on the adventure knowing that you are not alone. Not only is God with you, but there are many other women walking this road.

Joy is a Verb

Joy is a Verb

Devotional by Dr. Andrea Hazim

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and JOY are in His dwelling place. 1 Chronicles 16:27

Have you ever noticed the “IF – THEN” statements in God’s Word?  It’s as if the Holy Spirit is saying, “Take note!” IF JOY is in His dwelling place, THEN how do we get there?  IF we draw near to Him, then the Father will lay His hand upon us, welcoming us into His presence.  I can’t think of a better place to be!

Your arm is endowed with power; Your hand is strong, Your right hand exalted. Psalm 89:13

Can you picture Esther, when the King’s scepter is extended in favor of her approaching the King (also her husband)?  Our Heavenly King’s arm and hand are truly our source for everything. Esther found favor and experienced JOY as a result of her actions.  When we choose to go before the King, which takes a certain humility and courage, JOY is demonstrated as a verb.

Like Esther, IF you will actively align yourself with the King’s presence, THEN you will experience the Father’s touch.  He desires to reach into this earthly dimension to fortify your spirit, which transforms your heart, mind, and even your body!  Have you ever experienced God like that? Would you like to?

His loving touch reprograms our mental DNA.  Eventually, like we know our own names, we understand that we are not really human beings at all, but Kingdom beings; citizens of God’s Kingdom, who have tremendous potential to fulfill our purpose to bring glory to His name by the lives we live.

Esther experienced the JOY of God’s presence through embracing difficult circumstances.  Oswald Chambers calls this the “delight of despair.” Catherine Marshall’s book, Something More, teaches about “the Sacrifice of Praise.”  Oftentimes, I coach myself with the phrase “acceptance with JOY.”  These words bring me before the King, where I can cast my cares at His feet.  Like a potent balm of peace, JOY flows in and I find freedom. There is nothing more powerful than experiencing God’s mighty hand lifting our heads, empowering us to take our eyes off of our “human experience.”  In His presence we are able to walk with Him in the garden, far above the earthly circumstances in which we may find ourselves. What JOY it is to gain His heavenly perspective, and then to actively apply it, like a verb, to every area of our lives!

Father, thank you for using my earthly experiences to draw me into Your presence.  I pray Your Holy Spirit will immediately prompt me to offer You the sacrifice of praise; surrendering my human mind and thanking You instead!  Forgive my unbelief, my doubt of Your timing, for questioning Your ways, and for passively sitting on the sidelines of my life. Thank You for my trials.  I want the JOY of Your presence as I seek and trust You. There is nothing I desire more than being in alignment with You, to wholeheartedly enjoy the JOY of Your Kingdom life here on earth.  Amen.