Stuck in the Middle with You

Are you stuck right now?

I was yesterday when I received my second COVID vaccination. Audrey and I returned to the CVS in South Boston, Virginia, and walked right in without any waiting. Again, this time I had no reaction to the shot, but Audrey had fever, headache, and the severest chills last night that I have ever seen. She is much better now.

The extra benefit in going so far from home was the opportunity to see family down there—and the mostly pleasant drive through the heart of Virginia across two beautiful April days.

But I'm really thinking of something else: That cargo tanker that got stuck for six days last week in a narrow section of the Suez Canal. The ship, The Ever Given, found itself wedged in when an unexpected burst of wind turned it sideways. It is longer than the Empire State Building is tall and there was no dislodging of it. All transit in front and behind was blocked.

The Suez Canal is a 120 mile trench that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the continents of Europe and Asia. Every day over $9 billion worth of cargo passes through on its way to ports around the world. Or doesn't.

It was nature that saved the day, though, when all kinds of pushing and pulling failed. A perigean moon raised the tide enough to finally dislodge the ship.

Do you ever feel like that?

Some high gust of adversity has come your way and paralyzed you and you can't seem to break out of it. COVID has done that for many folks, of course, but it could be an unrelated family issue or something at work. The problem is not just what this does to you, but how it holds other people back, too. The cost in energy, wasted time and resources can be enormous.

Maybe it is a habit that has you stuck. Or an addiction that shows no sign of loosening its grip. It could be a negative spirit that colors everything you see and influences others in the group to pick right up from you.

Perhaps it is something over which you have absolutely no control, but it is holding you back. God is still in charge, though. And just as the moon worked its magic on the Ever Given, God will make a way for you to move when the time is exactly right. A new job. Somebody changes her mind. A door, not previously seen, appears and opens just a crack.

It reminds me of Moses and the escape from Egypt (Exodus 13-14)—at a place very near where that cargo ship was wedged. Or later, when Joshua led the Israelites through the Jordan River to a brand new land of great promise (Joshua 3). Still later, of Christians who needed to "move on to maturity" in their faith (Hebrews 6).

The movement might be backwards at first. There are things you need to address and a few honest conversations you must have. But eventually it must take you forward as you follow your LORD and Leader, Jesus. We have all been a bit stuck this past year--and I have been right there with you. But better days are coming--I just know it.

That second injection of vaccine yesterday was part of the answer for me.




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