Stuck in a Rut

by Sandra Kay Chambers

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Tired and emotionally drained, I decided to skip one of the afternoon sessions of the women’s retreat and go for a drive in the country. I needed a break, and I also wanted to take photos of the countryside with my new camera. The overcast sky and rain reflected both my emotional and spiritual state. Since my move ten months ago, I couldn’t sense God’s direction in my life or in my writing.

Proverbs 3:5-6 was one of my favorite Scripture verses. I could quote it by heart. But did I really believe it was true in my current situation? Sometimes we can believe something in our head, but it still needs to work its way down into our heart. That’s where I had been for the past several months–desiring to trust God, but stuck in a rut of emotional ups and downs.

I hoped my drive in the country would offer an escape from the turmoil I felt. As I rounded a curve in the road, I saw a picturesque farmhouse and quickly swerved the car off onto a grassy area. I grabbed my camera and stepped out of the car onto wet, muddy ground. After taking several shots, I tried to get my car back on the road, but my tires spun hopelessly in the mud. I put the car in reverse, rocking it back and forth, but the more I tried to free the car, the deeper the ruts became.

I had no idea where I was, and I had no cell phone service. I decided to walk to the nearby farmhouse, hoping to use their phone. As I approached the house, three men in coats and boots headed my way. “Saw you get stuck,” one man said. “Maybe we can help.”

The three men tried to free the car with several pushes, but nothing happened.  Then I looked down and noticed I had the emergency break still on! Feeling rather stupid, I released it and put the car in drive. With another push, the car surged forward back onto the road.

I offered to pay the men, but they refused, smiled and waved me off. As I looked back in the rearview mirror, I saw all three men wiping off the mud that had flung backwards onto their clothes. Tears welled up as I realized God had been standing behind me for the past ten months, allowing me to spin my spiritual tires, throwing the mud of my complaints and doubts at Him.

He patiently and lovingly waiting for me to take off the brake, so He could help me out of my rut. With tears now streaming down my face, I confessed my lack of trust in Him, thanked Him for lifting me out my spiritual rut, and asked Him to set my feet back on His path. No matter where or why we have gotten stuck in our spiritual lives, God has promised in His Word to make our paths straight, lead and guide us if we trust Him with our whole heart.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, and set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Pray Often—Inspire Others—Create Beauty. Helping Christians develop a creative and joyful prayer life is Sandra’s passion. She has served as Prayer Coordinator at two churches, leads small group Bible studies, speaks on the topic of  prayer, and teaches an online class at Be a Disciple based on her book, Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet (How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life). You can follow Sandra on her author website and her prayer blog.

Join the conversation: Are you in a rut?

3 thoughts on “Stuck in a Rut

  1. Oh Sandra. I’m crying. How many times have we thought God wasn’t there and He was there all along catching our tears, carrying us. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing that very timely story that reminds us of how easy it is to get stuck in a rut in our Christian lives. I love the song by Matthew West, “I Don’t Want to Go Through the Motions,” which has a similar theme. I want to have an all-consuming passion, like the song says, for God and the purpose He has chosen for me. God bless you, Sandra (we share the same name!).


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