What do a baseball player with multiple strikes, an author with writer’s block and a stock with low price activity all have in common? The answer: They’re all in a slump. Nearly everyone on this Earth has experienced a slump before in some way shape or form, and therefore knows the nagging feeling of being stuck or making little progress. Whether it’s sports, work, school or finances, you will unfortunately come across a time where things just don't seem to be going your way. It may feel like you can’t scrape together any luck no matter what you do. But what does a spiritual slump look like? As a Christian, what do you do when you feel far from God? To use another baseball analogy, what do you do when something in life comes out of left field — like a pandemic that disrupts the world and evaporates any sense of normalcy?
For me, the last year has been full of ups and downs, but the thing I struggled with most was finding consistency in my faith. When COVID-19 hit, our world stopped. Stores, restaurants, schools and even churches shut down. For me, church was a big part of my life and a huge reason why I looked forward to Sundays every week. Fortunately, I was able to be a part of Liquid Church’s online community during the pandemic. However, watching the online service for an hour every Sunday just wasn’t enough. Adding on to that, most of my sophomore and junior years of college were spent behind a computer. Talk about Zoom fatigue! What do you do when your world is upside down? These circumstances made life difficult because I was trying to manage online school, work so that I had a way to pay for school, and adapt to the changes in our world — all while trying to still grow and take steps forward in my faith journey.
While in a “spiritual slump,” it can be hard to find the motivation to do anything at all. The Enemy loves to feed us lies about ourselves and convince us that there is nothing we do can get out of this funk. Luckily, there is hope when you face a spiritual slump. It's not an all-natural medicine you can find in a pharmacy or a Bible verse that you recite three times and like magic, everything is fixed. For me, it was relying on three pillars in my life to bring me closer to God — community, serving and worship.
#1: FINDING A HEALTHY COMMUNITY
The first step I took to get out of my spiritual slump was to find a healthy community through the pandemic. No matter what stage of life you're in, you need community in order to thrive. My college small group at Liquid gave me a place to share my faith with like-minded people, to be held accountable and to just have fun. This allowed me to grow, ask questions and wrestle with my faith in the comfort and safety of knowing I have brothers and sisters going through the same issues. If you’re not in a small group, I strongly encourage you to join one. It might be awkward or scary at first, but this is a great opportunity for growth. You can explore small groups for every age and stage at LiquidChurch.com/Groups.
#2: SERVE OTHERS
Next, get involved and serve. I have the privilege of serving every week in Liquid Family with the Elementary-aged kids. Nothing brings me more joy every week than seeing their faces and knowing that I’m making a difference in their lives. In return, I feel invigorated and refreshed with the amazing feeling that comes with putting someone else before myself.
#3: MAKE WORSHIP PART OF YOUR REGULAR ROUTINE
Lastly, to get out of a spiritual slump you need to worship regularly. Just going to church every week wasn’t enough to keep my appreciation and longing for God at a healthy level. I had to seek him out, which meant spending quality time in prayer everyday, going for walks in nature to thank God for his amazing creation, and listening to worship music that would help bring the peace of God into my life.
By looking at these three pillars more closely, you’ll find that each boils down to something even simpler: discipline. When the pandemic hit, I, like many people, lacked discipline in my life. The only way to drag yourself out of a slump is to work on creating spiritual disciplines in your life and let God do the rest. Even Jesus knew the importance of self-discipline and covered all three of these bases. He had the 12 disciples for a healthy community. He served in every way from washing his followers’ feet (John 13:4-17) to comforting the broken-hearted. By spending time in solitude, he purposefully took time to worship and pray to his Heavenly Father to give him the strength to live out his Kingdom’s purpose. (Mark 14:32-36)
Tough times can bring about spiritual slumps, but we don’t have to stay stuck forever. I’ve learned that God sometimes lets us hit rock bottom to show us that HE is the rock at the bottom (Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock my fortress and deliverer”) — a subtle reminder to center our discipline on his truth and, by his grace, we can take steps to grow in our faith everyday.