Text: Psalm 22:1-31
“But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!” — Psalm 22:19
Not long ago, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles found himself in the middle of the biggest slump in major league baseball history. Davis set an MLB record that nobody wants attributed to their name when he went hitless in 54 consecutive at-bats. When he finally got a hit in the 2019 season, the Orioles dugout broke out into frenzy—there were cheers, the banging of helmets, and the pounding of lockers as his teammates celebrated in support.
Why were they so excited for the guy who once smashed 53 homeruns in a single season and finished in the top three for the MVP award? Why did one teammate say, “We were jumping for joy like we got the hit”? Because slumps in baseball are inevitable for everyone—even those at the highest level of the game. Not one player is immune to a hitting drought. That’s why the younger 24-year-old outfielder Cedric Mullins said:
“He continued to show us how to be a professional. Going through the struggles that he has, he kept his chin up no matter what. To witness that in person, it’ll help me maintain my composure when I go through the same thing.”
None of us are immune to slumps in life. What makes the Bible so relatable is that when we read about a person’s strengths we also get the revelation of their weaknesses. The Word of God never sanitizes or covers up the struggle—especially in those who walked with God so faithfully.
King David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), also found himself in a slump. That same guy who took on Goliath, championed numerous military battles, and established sweeping justice throughout his kingdom, also experienced a low point in his relationship with the Lord. It was a time when he didn’t feel God’s presence. Psalm 22 begins in this fashion: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” Israel’s all-star, their chosen one of God, was feeling isolated and distant from God. It’s the same heart cry of Jesus in Matthew 27:46 as He hung suspended on the cross.
As Christians, we all go through it at some point. A prayer seems to fall on deaf ears, or our quiet time feels cold and dry. Our soul is in a drought, our spirit is in a funk, and we feel alone. But if we keep reading Psalm 22, we find that even though David’s “strength is dried up,” he tunes his heart to praise (Psalm 22:23, 25-26). He remembers that his current circumstances won’t last forever; he recognizes that his slump is not permanent, but that God’s promises are.
David envisions the glory of God being revealed from one generation to the next—even to a people yet unborn (v. 31). He foresees the ends of the earth turning to the Lord, all the families of the nations worshiping before Him, and the afflicted being heard and rescued (vv. 24-26).
Slumps don’t last but God’s promises are forever. One of the most important things we can do while in a slump is to focus less on the temporary and more on the eternal. We can praise Him even in the midst of a hitless streak and it will impact future generations. Whatever you are going through right now, someone is watching you go through it. How you go through it will have an affect on them. Think about that as you seek to abide in Him this week.
God, slumps are real. They are inevitable. It’s part of the human struggle. In those discouraging times of drought, help us to fix our minds more on the eternal over the temporal. Remind us of your faithfulness throughout all generations and tune our hearts to praise you. Help us to be mindful of your promise that you will never leave us or forsake us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Questions for Reflection, Small Group or Family Discussion:
- When was the last time your life was in a slump?
- When was a time that you felt God was unreachable or silent?
- How would you sum up the focus of David’s prayer in Psalm 22?
- What changed David’s attitude in verses 22-24? How does praise affect our focus?
- Even in a slump, what vows did David make to the Lord? (vv. 22-31)
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