Athlete, Wait from the Sideline

Wait from the Sideline

13  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

One of the most inspirational stories in college football came from a young man by the name of Jalen Hurts. He is currently the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners but will forever be a legend at The University of Alabama.

Jalen experienced great success his first two years for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a true freshman and has a national championship under his belt as a member of the 2017-2018 Crimson Tide football team.

Unfortunately, Jalen Hurts did not have a good first half in the 2018 National Championship Game against the University of Georgia. His bad play resulted in Coach Nick Saban benching him in the second half and putting in true freshman Tua Tagovailoa.

Tua led the Crimson Tide to victory in the second half and became an instant sensation in college football.

Because of Tua’s phenomenal performance, along with a stellar offseason, Jalen Hurts was relegated to backup quarterback duties.

I imagine this was a hard pill to swallow for someone of Jalen’s caliber. He was 26-2 as a starter and was one of the leaders on the team. Although Jalen was the backup, he made the decision not to transfer to another school.

When the SEC Championship Game came around, Jalen got an opportunity to redeem himself. He found himself in a unique situation. He faced the same team on the same field from the 2018 National Championship Game.

With his team down, Jalen was inserted in the game and led the Crimson Tide to victory in tremendous fashion. He demonstrated the heart of a champion.

After the game, Jalen mentioned that he put his situation in God’s hands and waited for his opportunity. This was a very profound statement. In that moment, I learned that there’s a difference between watching and waiting. Jalen didn’t just watch from the sidelines; he waited from the sideline.

When you watch, you are typically focused on external circumstances and your immediate surroundings. But when you wait patiently on the Lord to intervene, you discover that the Lord is sovereign. He can promote you from the sideline to the field and give you an opportunity to lead your team to victory.

You may be in a situation where you are watching from the sidelines of life. You feel you have a destiny, a purpose, or something bigger that God wants you to do, but your current circumstances are not ideal. In moments like this, I want to remind you that fans watch, but players wait.

A player should always be ready to enter into the game. As citizens in the kingdom of God, we are not just fans, but players. We all have a destiny that is for our good and God’s glory.

The most difficult part in Jalen’s journey was not what he did on the field, but it was putting his trust in the Lord and allowing God to provide him an opportunity for redemption. Through Jalen’s situation, God teaches us three plays from the playbook of life.

  • Play #1: Humility:
    Be humble in every situation and circumstance you find yourself in.

  • Play #2: Patience:
    Be patient for your opportunity to use your gifts, talents and abilities for the glory of God.

  • Play #3: Preparation:
    Be prepared for the moment when God promotes you in your purpose.

Let’s practice these plays every day.

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