“Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As athletes, it’s easy for us to find ourselves in situations that we never played out in our minds. Down by 10 in the fourth quarter against a team that didn’t stand a chance against us. Gripping our knee after tearing an ACL right before our senior season started. Left off the roster of the team we thought we deserved to be on. The list goes on and on. But it's how we handle these “speed bumps” of life that set us apart as Christians.
Recently, I was faced with an unexpected speed bump myself as I found myself working on my second round of rehab from knee surgery. (My knee had decided it didn't want to comply to the demands of my coach and the sport I loved.) But having Christ at the center of my life was key in this situation.
Now, if you’re anything like I am, you thrive on competition, and the bench is not where you want to be. And, like many athletes, I’ve had to overcome countless injuries during my career. Through these struggles and unexpected “game-changing” moments, the Lord has revealed Himself to me in new ways.
Scripture tells us that when we do something, we should do it for the Lord, not for ourselves. In my time as an athlete, I’ve often found myself trying to get better for me, for my team, or to impress my coach. Until recently, it’s wasn't often that I would go back into the game with the purpose of bringing glory to God, let alone thanking Him for having to sit the bench.
But what I’ve learned is that, in times like these, verses like those in 1 Thessalonians 5 give us great perspective. Regardless of our circumstance, regardless of the outcome, regardless of whether or not we planned those speed bumps, we are supposed to thank the Lord and rejoice. It may be difficult, but because of the hope and love we have in Him, we can trust in His plan, rely on Him and keep praying about all things knowing He is in control.
- How do you view the unexpected “speed bumps” of life? How would total faith in God’s perfect plan change that view?
- Do you thank God in every situation?
- How would thankfulness change in the way you compete?
Psalm 9:10 Psalm 28:7 Proverbs 3:5-6 Ecclesiastes 3:1 Jeremiah 29:11 Colossians 3:23