The Best Way to Get Out of a Slump

 

The following post is an excerpt from my new book, The Way Back from Loss:

“We waste time and energy always trying to figure things out. God urges us just to trust Him.”[i] —Rick Warren

Today’s Verse: “The Lord said to Moses, How long will this people provoke (spurn, despise) Me? And how long will it be before they believe Me [trusting in, relying on, clinging to Me], for all the signs which I have performed among them?” (Numbers 14:11 AMP)

Athletes, no matter how good they are or what level they have achieved, go into slumps. They can’t make the shot, hit the ball, or find the strike zone or the end zone. They are stymied, feel frustrated, and seem out of sync. As the slump worsens, their mental attitude is affected, and they lose confidence, poise, and boldness.

Many times loss puts us in a slump. We get down, afraid, bitter, angry, and we don’t want to take any risks. We’re afraid to try anything as the fear of failure grips us and we feel the stress of wanting to break free, but, like many athletes, we can’t make the adjustments to get back on track. Physically and mentally we’re worn out.

Leaning is far different from slumping. To lean means to put our whole weight onto something and trust it completely. When we’re slumping, we overthink everything and we don’t trust anything. When we’re leaning, we don’t agonize over things and we trust the One on whom we’re leaning, completely.

When we’re slumping, we look in all directions for help. Baseball players won’t step on the lines, they’ll wear their caps backwards, or they won’t change out of their “lucky” shirts. Leaners, true believers, know that only God can be trusted, and His Word is the best and easiest habit to keep.

Athletes in slumps try everything to figure out how to escape their slumps. They look at their mechanics, as they watch endless video footage trying to find the one flaw in their movements. Leaners don’t waste time trying to figure everything out. They don’t waste time regretting what they have lost. Leaners give God their problems, their aspirations, and their pain. Leaners let go.

The old hymn reminds us, “What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms . . . I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms.”[ii]

INSIGHT: To lean means to put all your weight onto something and trust it completely. The only One who can be completely trusted is God.

PRAYER: Thank God that you can put your full weight on Him and trust Him completely. Ask Him to help you change your heart and focus so that you are not trying to figure everything out and, under your own power, get out of the slump. Confess your lack of trust and commit your renewed trust and belief to Him.

LIFE CHOICES:

  • Study Psalm 46, Proverbs 4:11–12, and Romans 8:15. Describe God’s faithfulness in times of trouble. What does it mean to you to know you can fully lean on your heavenly Father? What is keeping your from fully leaning?
  • Understand God’s power and His ability to help you. Know that He is faithful and you can completely trust in and rely on Him. You don’t have to figure anything out on your own and in your own power. You can give your situation to Him completely. You can trust Him completely.
  • Discover the freedom in fully and completely leaning on Him. Freedom from your stress is not up to you. There are no bootstraps. Discover peace because God is waiting and ready for you to lean on Him.

 

[i] Rick Warren, God’s Power to Change Your Life, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1990, 2006), eBook edition.

[ii] Elisha A. Hoffman, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, 1887

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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