Are You Stuck in the Doldrums?

Gary Keesee

Have you ever heard the word “doldrums”?

As in, “She’s stuck in the doldrums,” or “He has a case of the doldrums”?

You can call it a pit, a funk, or whatever you want, but the real definition of doldrums is a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression.

That speaks volumes doesn’t it?

The word “doldrums” has an interesting history. It’s actually an old term coined by seafarers and sailors that referred to parts of the ocean where there are no winds.

The doldrums were a dangerous place to be. Because when the winds disappear, sail-powered boats would be trapped for days or weeks.



We’ve all been there at some point.

Maybe you’re there now.

How do you know if you’re stuck in the doldrums?

  1. You’ve been faking it. You’ve been acting like everything is going great, but it really isn’t.
  2. You’ve been putting stuff off, and avoiding. You know something isn’t right, but you’re not doing anything to fix it. In fact, you may just keep distracting yourself.
  3. You’ve given up. You have no hope. You don’t see how things are going to ever get any better.

If that’s you, you need to wake up right now. You need to get some wind back in your sails. You need to get unstuck.

Because what happened to the ships and the sailors that would get stuck in the doldrums?

They were lost.

So, what can you do to get out of the doldrums?

1. Think about what you’ve been thinking about.
Your thoughts are seeds. They’re pictures. What you listen to, what you look at, the things you do, and the friends you hang around all produce thoughts—pictures—in your mind whether you realize it or not. When you begin to concentrate on those pictures, they produce desire. And desire can cause you some serious trouble. In fact, the Bible says that desire drags us. It produces a plan to get what it wants and that plan can take you to a place you never thought you’d be. Don’t get me wrong—that can be a good thing if you’re thinking about good things, like the promises of God. Your good desires can help guide you toward success.

So, what are you thinking? Does it line up with God’s Word?

2. Ask yourself some questions.
What have I been looking at? What have I been watching? How much time have I spent in the Word of God this week? Who am I listening to? Who is giving me advice? Is it the enemy, who will lie to me? Is it the world? Is it my problems? Is it Facebook?

If so, it’s time to make some real changes.

3. Start seeing things from God’s perspective.
The goal of the enemy is always to make your problem or circumstance look bigger than God. Train yourself not to be moved off of what God says. Stay in faith with what heaven says about you, about your situation, and about the Kingdom of God. Cast those thoughts that don’t line up with what God says down. Tell the enemy to shut up.

4. Reflect on what God has already done in your life.
Remember the times He’s done small things, or big things, or amazing, incredible things—so you can remember that God was with you then and still is now. Think about the love He has for you and how far He’s brought you.

Each memory builds on the last, and you can’t get out of the doldrums if you don’t spend time reflecting on all God has already done.

If you have a hard time remembering things, keep a journal. Write down the stories, or even just a sentence. Hold onto mementos. Rehearse memories and victories every chance you get.

5. Know that the light is in you.
Stop thinking you’re not much of an example. Remember you are a child of God. Our tendency as human beings is to look at the natural, to trust in the natural, and to look at our past failures. But the Bible tells us that the promise comes by faith and it’s guaranteed by grace. It’s God’s grace that does the work. It’s not about you—it’s about you and God. That’s what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is all about. You shall receive power to witness, to be the light, to be the demonstration.

It just takes a willingness to step up and say, “I’ll do that.” People all around you have problems. They need God and God needs you. All you have to do is step into their lives for a second. You don’t have to have it all together or even know what to say. God knows. All you have to do is be available.

It will take courage, so make a decision that you won’t be intimidated. Remember that darkness is intimidated by light. Remember that YOU are the light.

Remember that you’ll never change your life until you change the way you think.

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