We all experience ups and downs. It happens every day. Our bodies get tired and we have to rest. At our jobs, we can become mentally exhausted and reach a point where we have to step back and take a break. It’s no different in our Christian walk. There are times when we fell like we’re on top of the mountain. God’s presence is so powerful it almost seems like we could close our eyes and reach out and touch Him. And then there are those other times. We feel drained. We feel like we’re in a pit and we wonder if we’re really making a difference. Those are the times when we need to recharge ourselves spiritually.
Believe it or not, this is perfectly normal. No one, not even the strongest Christian, can operate at a consistently high level over an extended period of time. We see this in sports where individual athletes and entire teams go through slumps. They go through spells where they just aren’t hitting on all cylinders. When this happens, the team captains or the coaches will close the doors and call the players together for a team meeting so they can address the problems and regain their focus.
When we feel ourselves going into a spiritual slump, we need to do the exact same thing. We need to retreat, which means we need to go behind closed doors and have a meeting with God. We can either pray, read our Bibles, or meditate on scripture. And quite often we have to do all of the above. Like I said, it’s perfectly normal to go through seasons when our faith feels weak and when the presence of God doesn’t feel quite as strong. This is especially true for new Christians. They often become anxious when they experience this. They wonder if they’re slipping or if they’re beginning to fall away from God. They might even wonder if their conversion was for real. Even those of us who have been walking with God for a while can have those thoughts.
Let’s look to God’s word for assurance:
Mark 1:29-35 4:38-42
Jesus Heals Many
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Note that the scripture tells us that Jesus went to a solitary place and prayed after he had healed many people. Luke chapter 5 tells us clearly in verses 15 and 16 that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed after teaching and healing. He was emotionally and physically exhausted. Jesus is God, but Jesus was also man and in His humanity he experienced everything that we go through, even exhaustion.
In our walk with God, we will experience highs and lows. When we hit the low spots, we can take heart from God’s word and remind ourselves that it’s normal to go through these lows. When it happens, we can follow Jesus’ example; retreat, pray, and worship.
And if you’re in a slump and just can’t seem to climb out of it, a little more help may be in order. Get into (or back into) Bible study. Get involved with other believers. Sit down and talk to a pastor or a minister if you need to. Never be afraid to ask others to pray for you. Never underestimate the power of God through fellowship with other believers. Remember the words from Matthew 18:20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.
We’ve all been through it, and none of us has to go it alone.