Athlete, Consider the Ways of God


Athlete, Consider the Ways of God

Tom Petersburg

Isaiah 55:8,9 (NASB)

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts."

From the series: Perspectives for Disruptive Times

Years ago as a young NFL chaplain, I asked the team’s orthopedic surgeon how athletes handled major surgery. He told me that he regularly observed two reactions separated by a few days. First, there is the physical experience of pain and limited mobility. Then an emotional reaction hits them as they begin to wonder how this will affect their career or lifestyle.

Most disruptive events have a similar way of shaking our lives. First we experience what impact it has on our immediate well-being, then we wrestle with how it will affect our future.

The current pandemic sweeping the world has triggered that reaction. At first people adjust to handle the disruption, illness and cost. As the seriousness of COVID-19 sinks in, people are further shaken by the potential loss of life, income, savings, employment, security and opportunities.

Faced with the loss of control and the fear of the unknown, those with spiritual inclinations turn to God for answers. In the Book of Isaiah, God reminded His people that He does not think or act in the same manner as humans.

God in His wisdom knows every option, consequence and contingency of anything that He does. He knows our every thought, deed and need before it happens. He never has to guess what to do.

Why is this important? When we fail to embrace this truth, that He functions differently than us, our prayers easily turn into demands and our faulty expectations become resentments.

Our confidence rests in this: The ways and thoughts of our all-knowing God are based in His love, goodness, sovereignty and justice. God always does what is right. It just won’t play out quite like we think it should … so our only course is to trust Him.

Tom Petersburg,


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