Invictus: Spiritual Lessons From the World of All Ability Sports


Ability Not Inability!


“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.“ -- Philippians 4:13


Marjolein Uitham is a para-athlete from the Netherlands in Europe, and her sport is Para Canoe Sprinting. She was born with a bone-growing disease that restricted her growth, resulting in her short stature and in the need for her to use a wheelchair.

Growing up, and even later as an adult, she was always acutely aware of her different size, especially when comparing herself to her twin brother who is over six feet tall (or two meters long). For many years, the only sport that she dared try was swimming, but later in life, she decided to try para canoe racing, a sport that she now loves and that she is pioneering the development of in her country.

She is also a Christian; a follower of Jesus and she has said publicly: “As we come into this world life gives us beautiful things and horrible things as well. Life can be tough. Along the way, it is God who offers you opportunities that will give you a view of how you see your limitations. When I am on the water, I feel happy, my body becomes my friend. I feel the adrenaline in my veins, and I feel the power, which I can deliver--a power that I believe is God’s power. I pray that my performance will be a testimony of the power that Jesus gives me because as it says in the Bible...I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Uitham's words can remind us that while anyone can be an athlete, big, small, or in between, it's through God that all things are possible. Our strengths and talents were crafted by God before we ever arrived on this Earth. As you compete today, remember to give glory to Our Creator.


  • How do you view the physical limitations of the body you have? Do you see them first as opportunities or stumbling blocks?
  • When engaged in your sport, do you view your particular body as your friend or your enemy?
  • The Christian believer has Christ in them and the hope of glory in their heart. In prayer, ask Christ to strengthen you in your physical and sporting technical performances, to see your increased sporting prowess as both a means of and a reason to bring glory to God. Go for the gold in the power and strength that God gives to all who ask.


2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 1 Chronicles 16:11; Colossians 3:3; Exodus 15:2; Romans 8:37


“Father God, You are the only all-powerful and all-wise God. I ask, O Lord, that You would prosper my sporting career. It is nothing for You to help a weak person. And so, I do not rely on my strength or ability, but rather, I humble myself now and I choose to place all my confidence in You and none in my flesh Lord. Let Your name alone be glorified through any victories I may achieve. I want to show that I am a child of the Almighty and that I am confident that I can do all things through You. Strengthen me in body and spirit, O Lord, that I may shine in my sport for Your glory. In the name of Jesus my Savior, I pray, amen.”