"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes through it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" - 1 Peter 1:6-7
The Colorado Rockies are off to one of the best starts in franchise history and there is no doubt that the city is buzzing with hope and anticipation of the first Rocktober in 8 years. The pitching staff has significantly improved from previous years and players like Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds are mashing the ball right now. The team's success however does not cover up that a specific Rockie is going through the biggest slump of his career. The emergence of Trevor Story resurrected Rockies fans back to life last year and there is no doubt that expectations are high for him this year. Through the first third of the season Trevor is batting an atrocious .197 and you can hear frustration in the crowd after every swing and miss. There is obvious frustration coming from both parties and I am sure that there are daily battles about this going on in Trevor's head. Shouldn't Trevor Story quit baseball and find another profession because he is going through the roughest part of his career? That would be absurd; this is part of baseball and every player goes through them.
The human nature is to change direction or look for the alternative when we experience trials and tough seasons. For ALL OF US we experience times like this in our jobs, marriage, sports, and especially our faith. Our first reaction and solution to a trail is so often change, but what it really should be is perseverance. In 1 Peter 1:6-7, it explains that trials are essential to building a stronger faith. As we push through and persevere through these trials the fire consumes the parts of our faith that hold us back from experiencing the fullness of Christ. Romans 5:3-5 tells us that through this process we are sanctified. "..suffereing produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit." Slumps are a beautiful process but ONLY if we persevere through them. If we decide to look for the next alternative instead of persevering, the parts of our faith that are holding us back from the Lord will never be addressed and we will become stale in our faith and confused to why we aren't as close to God. If you trust in the process of perseverance you will find a level of love, joy, and a peace in our Lord that you have never experienced before and it is one of the most beautiful things we can experience.
Trevor Story will become a better baseball player because of this slump. This is essential to his growth as a professional and it will be a defining part of his career. Watch as he grows and matures the next month and then for the last half or third of the season he will be playing at an all-star level. If we trust in the process of perseverance, slumps are beautiful.
Thank you for the gift of this life and for the sacrifice your Son made on the cross so that we may live in victory. Lord, would you strengthen and encourage us through these times of trials so we won't grow weary but instead become more like you. As we persevere, show us your beauty and glory - draw us near to you Lord! We love you so much and it's in the powerful name of Jesus we pray. Amen.