Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Daily Devotional Thoughts--From the Old Testament (Do You Have a Slump Buster?)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Isaiah 40:28-31: ESV 28 The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Albert Pujols is considered by many baseball fans as the best player in the game today.  Some think that he will prove to be the best player of all time.  However, Albert’s last 16 games would seem to indicate otherwise.  After an incredible first half of the season, during which he hit 32 homeruns, and drove in 87 runs, Albert found himself mired in one of the worst slumps of his career.  In the sixteen games following the All-Star Game, he had batted just .226 (14-62), had suffered through the longest homerless streak of his career (15 games), and had stopped driving in runs (only 2 RBIs in the last 14 games).  Rather than the consistent force that puts fear into opposing pitchers, he had become a weak link in the middle of a Cardinal lineup with great expectation.

You may or may not be aware of a term popular in baseball: SLUMP BUSTER.  For some players it’s a restaurant, for others it’s a lucky pair of socks, a favorite song, or a pregame ritual.  The player trusts that when they find themselves struggling through a slump, their SLUMP BUSTER will renew their strength, and make them productive once again.  Now Albert is a Christian man, who is lead by his faith in Christ.  On many occasions he has publically thanked God for his gifts, and the success he’s had in the game.  He doesn’t trust in any false idol or superstition as a SLUMP BUSTER—but God himself.

So I ask, what is your slump buster?

Surely you find yourself in a rut from time to time, not being as productive at work as you would like, or being a bit to short with your spouse and children.  Maybe you’ve been ashamed of recent choices you’ve made and wonder if you’ll be able to bounce back.  What you need is the SLUMP BUSTER.  Not a restaurant, pair of socks, or even a lucky song; what you need is the Lord himself.  Isaiah writes: They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

You and I are not different than Albert Pujols—we’re human.  We slump because the Devil, the world, and our sinful flesh attack us on all sides.  When we are slumping, a favorite Bible passage that reminds us of the comfort that is ours in Jesus Christ can be our SLUMP BUSTER.  The Lord’s Prayer, for example, will remind you of whose you are and will place your life in His hands, or in the context of Isaiah, will place you on the wings of an eagle—where nothing can harm you.  God’s Word brings Christ himself to you, where He alone can bust you out of the depths of the valleys of life.

On Tuesday night, Albert busted out of his slump and was back to himself: 4-5 with 2 HRs, and 5 RBIs.  He essentially put the game out of reach in the 10th inning with his 5th grand slam of the season (a NL record).  As you wait for the LORD, you too, will have your strength renewed and will not grow weary.  You may not hit a grand slam to win a baseball game, but when God renews your strength, you will be renewed in the One in whom there is life everlasting—for in Christ, we have an eternal SLUMP BUSTER.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Thanks! I needed to hear that. I'm hoping to get out of the slump soon too!! hopefully I can hit a grand slam of a different sort.