Discovering Dependence - Trey Burton

While my season on the field didn’t go as I had hoped, things at home have been better than they’ve ever been. My wife and I have been doing a really good job of getting in the Word, spending time every other week being mentored by a pastor, and investing in ourselves and each other spiritually, which then trickles down to our kids. My kids have been really involved in programs at their Christian school as well. At home, we have been in great harmony with each other. 

Last year, I was forced to be more dependent on God than I ever had been before. Well, let me clarify — I was more aware of how dependent I am on Him. He was revealing this, or beating me over the head with it, on the regular. While my wife has always been a prayer warrior, in constant communication with God, I never really have been. When I think about why my prayer life has not ever been excellent, I recognize things in my past that have shaped this mindset for me. Growing up without a father, I was the head of the house. Everyone depended on me and what I did. I never had to be dependent on anyone else. When I got to Philly, the Eagles’ group of Christ-followers was so tight-knit, and I relied on my boys to feed me prayer, worship and lessons from the Word. But when I got to Chicago, I faced a wake-up call. I was on my own and had to seek these things for myself.

As I continue to seek God and learn to be dependent on Him, I’m finding Bible verses that are sticking out to me like they never have before. This life is all about God, not us. We are completely dependent on Him. The other day I was reading Matthew 7 when verse 7 really hit me: 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

This brought up a question I’ve always had about prayer, which is, “If God already knows what we need and when we need it, why do we pray?” It was made clear to me from this passage that He wants us to keep on asking, not in a pestering, annoyingly selfish or needy way, but in a submissive, humble, dependent way. When we pray, we are admitting we need God and can’t do this life without Him. The more we pray to God, the more we are in tune with Him and what He has for us. Then, we are not asking for wild or crazy things, we’re asking for His will to be done and He’s able to walk with us through it. 

So as I spent two weeks in Chicago by myself, recovering from surgery, I chose to be intentional with my time. Instead of turning on the TV or playing Xbox, I caught up on sermons I had been wanting to watch. I took advantage of time alone with God, not busying myself with meaningless things but spending time in the Word and in prayer, writing down my thoughts (which I’d never done before) and asking God to reveal more of Himself to me. So when I go home and am surrounded by kids and a schedule, I’ll continue to be intentional. It may mean I have to carve out time earlier or later in the day, but I’m going to make time for it because I know that I’m depending on Him to be my strength. 

— Trey Burton, Chicago Bears tight end

Trey Burton is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Trey’s Increase profile here:

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