This is a verse that has pushed me since I became a Christian. It might seem like a cliché, because just about every athlete uses it. It’s a verse that every Christian athlete knows.
But for me, it’s more than just a cliché. It has helped me overcome during times when I was struggling with confidence on the football field.
I didn’t play football until I was in college. My football career began at the junior college level. I was eighteen years old, didn’t know anything, was embarrassed about everything... And I was playing with guys who had been playing since they were little kids in Pop Warner. They understood the game, they understood the recruiting process, they had awards...
I had never played. I was five-foot nine, 140 pounds. All I knew how to do was run very fast.
I had a huge fear of failure. That was one of the reasons I didn’t play football until college: I was afraid of looking bad in front of my friends, family, or anyone. When I was younger, I couldn’t even watch people risk embarrassing themselves on TV.
My football helmet helped. It gave me a little anonymity. And the fact that there were 21 other players on the field helped too. I knew people weren’t looking at me until the ball was in my hands.
But still, it was a paralyzing fear at times. I would be shaking on the field as I was lining up, hoping that they wouldn’t throw the ball to me.
This verse came along when I became a Christian in my sophomore year of college. I don’t remember where it came from – if I heard it in a sermon or read it or was taught it... But it became something I could lean on.
Knowing I can do all thing through Christ helped me overcome my fear. This verse reminded me that God’s Holy Spirit is inside us and gives us the courage and the strength to do what we need to do – to step into and through scary things.
God did not give us the spirit of fear. He gave us the spirit of power, love and self-discipline. My prayer is that everyone reading this would take courage. I pray that you will have the faith to take that step forward, out of the boat, and trust that God will be there.
Take courage. And take that step. God is there.