Pregame Jitters

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" -Luke 12:25, NIV 

It’s only a few minutes before tip-off. We hear the band playing to get the crowd excited for the game, and we look around the locker room and watch our players trying to get into the zone. We’ve worked hard to get them prepared, but something isn’t clicking because the team has the pregame jitters. Maybe they think they aren’t as skilled as the opponent, or perhaps they lack confidence in the game plan. It could be fear of failing while fans and media are watching, or fear of not measuring up to personal expectations. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: worry and a lack of focus.

All of us who have competed in sports know that feeling. It usually hits right in the pit of our stomach. Sometimes fear and excitement get mixed up together so that we cannot distinguish one feeling from another. The men around Jesus had jitters, too. Like us, they were tempted toward anxiety when under the pressures of daily life. But Jesus put life in proper perspective for his followers (Lk 12:22). He told them that since God provides for ravens, then He will also take care of those who are worth much more to Him than the birds. He went on to remind them that worrying would add nothing to their lives; in other words, it was wasted energy. Then, in case they were still tempted to worry, He went a step further to prove God’s faithfulness by willingly taking their sins on the cross.

If Jesus reminded His disciples of God’s provision in spite of their jitters and proved it with His life, death, and resurrection, why do we worry about our game?

1. What situations make you nervous?
2. How do you overcome the jitters?
3. What does Jesus invite us to do when we feel nervous?

Extra Reading: Matthew 6:25–34; 8:23–27; Luke 12:22–34; 1 Peter 5:7


Lord, please forgive me for worrying and for forgetting how much You love me and care for me. I pray that You would turn my fears into faith as I remember Your provision in Jesus Christ. Amen.