When You’re Stuck in a Spiritual Rut

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | December 22, 2023

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:29

I’ll never forget the day I ended up spinning my tires on ice at the bottom of the hill near my home. It was the morning rush, and as the cars ahead of me moved forward, I was trapped and going nowhere fast. Outwardly, I kept my cool, but I was anxious, embarrassed, and frustrated inside. More than not wanting to be late, I was desperate to get unstuck.

Even though the slippery conditions caught me off-guard, the driver behind me surprised me more. When I exited my car to push,  instead of blaring the horn, he waved me in his direction, and we devised a plan. He graciously nudged my car forward with his bumper, and seconds later, we were both on our way. No finger-pointing. No judgment. No shame. 

I’ve been reflecting on this every winter for a decade.

Spiritually speaking, you and I have patterns that are best described as being stuck in a rut. Many of us live on our own terms without God. We frantically push ourselves to add up more successes than failures, taking credit for the good and blaming the bad elsewhere. Other people relate to God by relying on religious activity over intimacy with the One who gives true life.

This is where the Lord, our approachable King, steps in. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus lets the world know forever that His way is always worth following. You can receive grace from God when you’re stuck in a spiritual rut. And more than that, the Lord will teach you how to live and love like Him forever.

Everyone gets stuck in a spiritual rut. It’s just like me traveling the same way to work every day only to find myself dead in my tracks, needing rescue. You and I need someone outside ourselves to save, steer, and strengthen us daily. Yes, we can do lots of things on our own, but apart from Jesus Christ, what we do isn’t valuable in the long run (see John 15:5).

If you’re looking for rest for your weary soul, look to Jesus. Christmas is an annual wake-up call to get unstuck, to see the King of Kings for who He is—approachable, gentle, humble, patient, and the most gracious gift-giver of all.

Next Steps

Slow down today as you head toward celebrating Christmas. Reflect on where you’re on autopilot, stuck in a spiritual rut, and ask Jesus to speak the words of grace you need to hear.