The word slither can be used to describe a small slice of something. If you have ever found yourself caught on a bush full of thorns or you accidently brush up against a small fiber, slithers can inflict pain. Depending upon how deep these slithers penetrate your skin, blood and scars reveal the size of this object. Whenever you endure a series of defeats, failures or losses in life, hope can shrink like a tiny slither, difficult to see.
Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, 7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully, 1 Peter 5:6-7.
In my final season of coaching Majors, baseball players age 10-12, I lost a majority of my team from the prior season. Thus, I was forced to alter my expectations before the season began with a young team without much talent. To make matters worse, my best pitcher broke his arm on opening day. With my only leader in a cast for most of the season, the losses began to pile up. Moral victories took on a new meaning when my team got to play a full six innings instead of losing by the mercy rule.
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour, 1 Peter 5:8.
Whether you’re a coach, individual or parent, defeat can take a toll on fragile souls. The more you experience failure, the concept of success and victory often disappears, fading from your memory. Thus, as a spirit of defeat settles in like a stationary front that stalls over you, you must press on. In this rainy season, hopeful hearts must persevere as negativity reigns. When only a slither of hope remains, cry out to Jesus while there is time left to alter an outcome.
by Jay Mankus