23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Most athletes don’t need to be reminded to work hard because the result of our laziness would generally be the bench.
But what about after we work hard? Do we need reminding of what God says about that?
The result we hope for is the starting spot, the national championship or at least the conference championship. We hope for some sort of success as a result of our labor.
Athlete, what happens when you don’t get the success you’re looking for from your hard work?
My favorite part of my husband’s faith story is probably one of the more difficult parts of his football career. He was a kicker for Marshall University. He was about to attempt a game-changing kick against a longstanding in-state rival, WVU.
God asked him, “Make or miss, will you still love me?”
Since hearing this part of his story, I have noticed that God has asked me that same question many times. No matter what area of my life God is referencing, it is always in regard to my dreams and desires. My husband desired to make the kick to secure the win, but he told God that make or miss, he would still love Him. He went out there and worked at it with all his heart, but he missed the kick.
Athlete, do you believe that God has a bigger plan for you than the successes of this world?
God asks you to work as though you are working for Him, and beyond that He asks you to trust Him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). He asks you to trust that His ways are higher than your ways and His thoughts are higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). He desires for you to see that He has plans for you, plans for a hope and a future, even when it is not the future you were hoping for (Jeremiah 29:11). He desires for you to trust Him with your desires (Psalm 37:4).
So, athlete, what comes after hard work? Trust. God is someone you can truly trust.
Give 100 percent. Leave it all on the court, field, track, etc. Put your heart into it. But after all of that, trust.
Reflect: In what areas of your life or sport is it hard to entrust the result to God? If your dreams for these things were to not come true, would you still love God?
Prayer to consider today: God, You know the desires of my heart. You see how hard I am working. Help me to trust You with the results. Help me to know that You have plans that are much bigger than mine. Father, help me to trust You no matter what happens. You are in control and You are a good Father who has good things for me, all for your glory.