Have you ever felt like you’re stuck in a rut? Like you’re just banging your head against a wall? Like in the things that matter most you’re just going through the motions, while the things that don’t matter so much are consuming all time and energy?
Many of us can probably say, Yep, I’ve been there. Maybe you’re there right now.
Not seeing any growth. Not hearing from God. Overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities, yet underwhelmed in the heart. Wondering, What’s the point? Why am I doing this?
And being in this paradox of overwhelm and underwhelm, of having too much to do, yet not knowing what to do, can cause a comatose of the soul. Interest and motivation wane, and the feet become still. They are sucked in by the mud in the rut and any step made is a struggle to move forward. So instead of fighting, we begin to sleep. Going through the motions. The quickening and stirring of passion fades, and the soul drifts off into slumber.
But we can’t stay asleep. Because when we are in this coma, we only dream, we do not live.
How do we revive the soul?
Throughout Scripture, God gives the promise that He will revive, renew and restore:
In each of these verses, the revival, renewal and restoration is found in the Lord. In putting hope in Him, in desiring Him, in obeying Him, in submitting to Him.
But maybe we feel we’ve been doing this? Maybe we’ve spent time in prayer and in His Word, yet our heart is still underwhelmed. Maybe we’ve been doing what is right and good, yet our soul is still asleep.
We can’t give up. We mustn’t give up.
Jesus “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus endured death, punishment, the taking on of sins He didn’t commit. He endured for the joy set before Him. The restoration and redemption and relationship His endurance makes available to us is what makes it possible for us to endure. So we are urged to “fix our eyes on Jesus [and] consider Him who endured, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
In 1 Corinthians 13, we read that love always perseveres (v. 7). So when we live in this love relationship that Jesus made possible, we are able to persevere. That is a promise.
Another promise we are given from this relationship is that these times of hardships, of God seeming to be silent, of trying to get over that wall, of finding our passion again, will not last forever. “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5, NLT)
We are to “endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.” (Hebrews 12:7, 10-11) And James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
God will answer. He will help us overcome. His Spirit will stir our spirit. He will reward and bless by giving life and making Himself known. He will revive.
And don’t these promises cause the soul to stir from its slumber? To awaken from the comatose? Maybe we do not feel fully awake, thrilled and excited and zealous for this adventure. Maybe we can only take small steps through the mud. But we whisper, I can go on another day. I can endure because Christ strengthens me. Because I know this is not the end and will not last. Let’s do this. And the soul stirs once more, and another step is taken.