Athlete, Remain Strong and Keep Moving
Jonathan Van Horn
Ephesians 6:10 (ESV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Have you ever had the thought or feeling that you wanted to quit? To be honest, I have. Being an athlete and pushing yourself to the limits physically, intellectually and mentally can be a grueling experience.
I’ll never forget one coach telling me that my brain will tell me to stop and that I can’t go any further, but my body still has 20 percent left to give. So push through the thought that my mind was telling me to stop, and keep moving forward.
I didn’t believe him, I was too busy trying not to throw up.
Or have you ever had a training partner that you felt like no matter what you tried, she always bested you. Frustrated, irritated, angry — but you kept going, kept pushing, kept working to get better.
You thought that you would never beat her, no matter how hard you tried. But that didn’t matter, it was your choice to keep moving forward, pushing the limits, hoping to eventually win.
Nelson Mandela once stated, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
Reflect: Looking back at your athletic career and those difficult moments when obstacles, setbacks and life circumstances smacked you in the mouth: Did you see God there with you?
When talking about the spiritual battle raging around us on this earth, Paul encourages the church in Ephesus, saying, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).
Run to Him, take on His strength, be strong.
Your circumstances don’t define who you are. Who you are shines in the midst of your circumstances. Your choices and character will reveal who you are in those difficult moments!
Show your identity and character in Christ, let it shine brightly in those dark moments of struggle and pain. The prophet Isaiah said, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).
Reflect: Athlete, how do you face obstacles and setbacks in your life? Where do you see or experience God when you encounter struggles and difficult life circumstances?