I grew up in a Christian family in Peterborough, Ontario. As a young athlete, I did my best to balance my hockey career with the faith I had embraced as a six-year-old boy. My parents were great examples of what it looks like to trust Jesus. I can remember coming downstairs before school every day and seeing my mom reading her Bible and praying.
At the age of 19, my faith was tested when I suffered a serious knee injury. After the game, I knew I was done for the year. My mom called me and said, “Remember, God doesn’t make mistakes. Trust in him and it will be okay. He’ll use it for good.” At the time, I didn’t want to hear it but in the long run she was right. I learned a lot about myself during that time and it eventually paid off as I made my way up the ranks to the NHL where I now play for the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps that’s why one of my favorite scriptures, from the book of Proverbs says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (3:5–6). Sometimes you can hope that everything is going to be rosy, but God doesn’t promise that life is going to be perfect. We won’t always understand why we’re struggling or why things aren’t going our way. But he does promise that if we put our trust completely in him, he will take care of our needs and give us the strength to make it through the trials of life.
I can’t think of a better example of trust than Job. Even though he lost his family and all of his possessions, Job still trusted and loved the Lord. He refused to curse God. A few thousand years later, Jesus provided us the ultimate display of trust. He surrendered himself to the cross because he knew that was the sacrifice required to restore mankind back into a relationship with the Father.
Most of us have never experienced anything like those two examples, but we do all deal with fears, doubts and anxieties that might challenge our trust in God. In those times when I deal with fear, I always think about these words from the letter to the Romans: If God is for us, who can be against us? (8:31). Knowing that the God who made me is on my team gives me total trust and confidence in him.
But sometimes trust takes time. We all love to be in control. I can tell you from experience that it’s freeing when you begin to give some of that up. Ultimately the most important decision you can make is to give your life over to Jesus and trust him with it. When you can do that, your fears will begin to fade and your trust in him will begin to grow.
Check out FCA’s, Hockey New Testament. It features ten college, professional and Olympic athletes including Rocco Grimaldi, Brian Rafalski, Matt Cullen and Mike Fisher. To order, visit FCAGear.com.
- How does trust impact your relationships with teammates, coaches, family and friends?
- What are some areas where you find it easy to trust God? With what areas of your life do you find it difficult to trust God?
- What are some of your fears and how do they impact your ability to trust God?
- What are some things you need to give up control of today?
1 John 4:18