By Dan Britton
“Then Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.’”
– Matthew 8:10
I love rubber bands. They are one of the greatest inventions ever! They are simple, practical, and useful. And, while there are many uses for them, one of the most basic functions of rubber bands is to hold a group of objects together.
I always keep a rubber band around my wrist. You never know when you might need one! But my habit took on new meaning this past year when my friend and FCA teammate, Donnie Dee, who also wears one around his wrist, offered me a challenge. When I asked him why he wore his rubber band, he said that it was a constant reminder that God wanted to stretch him daily. I was converted on the spot!
Rubber bands are pretty useless unless they are stretched. When they are extended beyond their standard form, they can hold things together and accomplish their purpose. After hearing Donnie’s reasoning, I began to look at my rubber band as a reminder to have rubber-band faith.
Think about it. Faith is much like a rubber band in that it is useless unless it is stretched. Our faith needs to be tested, because when we step out of our comfort zone, it is expanded. Scripture tells us that Jesus was astonished only twice—once for a man’s great faith (Matthew 8:5-10) and once for a group’s lack of it (Mark 6:4-6). The Roman commander in Matthew had so much faith that he asked Jesus to just speak words of healing and his servant would be made well. Jesus’ response was, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Matthew 8:10). That’s rubber-band faith.
I think we all need to examine our level of faith and ask ourselves if it is getting stronger or weaker. When we are willing to step out and stretch ourselves, God shows up and does what we can’t do. We need to keep putting ourselves in situations where we whisper, “God, if You don’t show up, I am bound to fail. I can’t do this in my own strength.”
As competitors, we have been blessed with incredible talents and skills to perform at a high levels. It’s hard to have rubber-band faith as athletes and coaches because we rely too much on our own abilities. But we need to step out and ask the Lord to stretch us on the field of competition and in the arena of life. When we have rubber-band faith, we will immediately respond, “God did it!” instead of, “I did it!”
True faith begins at the edge of your comfort zone. Be bold and courageous and step out, letting God extend you. Trust me, you were made to be stretched.
1. In your own words, how would you define rubber-band faith?
2. When has your faith been stretched the most? How did God show up?
3. As a competitor, how can you play with rubber-band faith? How can you live with rubber-band faith?
4. Read Mark 6:4-6. Why was Jesus astonished? What can you learn from this passage?
2 Chronicles 16:9
“Lord God in Heaven, I ask for rubber-band faith—the kind of faith that depends on You to show up. Help me to be a competitor who plays and lives with great faith. Today, I ask You to strengthen my faith. I want my faith to be at full-strength all the time. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”