“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” — Galatians 6:9
Even the best and the strongest get weary. Isaiah wasn’t kidding when he said that “even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall” (Isaiah 40:30). Stories abound of athletes who displayed their humanity and proved they weren’t as untouchable as we thought. Injuries happen. Sickness happens. Mental fatigue happens. But perhaps we see this most often when an athlete is in a slump — when they seem to have lost their magic touch and the game just isn’t coming to them. The hits aren’t coming, the shots aren’t falling, and the wins aren’t happening. And understandably, frustration and discouragement set in.
Yet, when this happens, what do the great ones do? How do they respond? They keep swinging. They keep shooting. They keep playing. They keep finding a way to believe and tell themselves that this next at-bat, this next shot, this next match or game will be when it turns around. Now, does it probably feel at times like they’re lying to themselves? Maybe. Do they probably have doubts as they take the field or court that this will, indeed, be the comeback? Probably. But they also know it’s worse to begin actually believing things won’t improve.
Neuroscience studies have shown that our brain adapts to whatever we most consistently tell it. Whatever we program it to believe as truth is what, over time, it will begin to accept as fact and look for evidence that supports it. This means that our thoughts have incredible power. One way or another, whatever you’ve told yourself is what, eventually, will start to feel like reality. Especially when we hit those wearisome seasons when things just aren’t going right, it can be tempting to start believing your life or your circumstances are never going to get any better. And pretty soon, you’ve started down a slope of hopelessness that is dangerous.
Even if it feels like the noticeable evidence isn’t lining up with the truth you hold, there’s something powerful about holding tight to what you know. It’s the hoping in the Lord and renewing your strength that Isaiah spoke of in the very next verse (Isaiah 40:31). It’s understanding what Peter said in 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV), that the God who calls you will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” after you have “suffered a little while.”
Nothing lasts forever — even the hard things. You won’t always be in a slump. The shots and hits will start falling again. The wins will come once more. The scoring drought or the losing streak is only for “a little while.” But until then, you have to keep shooting. You have to keep showing up. You have to keep trying. Keep believing you’re going to come out of this. Because let’s be honest, the alternative is far, far worse. Far more devastating.
All of us grow weary. All of us fail. All of us suffer. But good things — God’s things — are coming if we renew our strength in Him and refuse to give up.
— Katherine Singer
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