In college it was my prayer that, through football, God would give me a platform to help make Him famous, pointing people to Him. Fast forward several years now, and I see that while God has answered that prayer by blessing my football career, He hasn’t blessed it just so I could feel good about myself. He’s blessed it so that I could then steward this platform and point people to Him.
When you look at NFL players from a distance, it’s easy to think we have it made, we’re living a dream, and everything must be going great. But that’s not always the case. So many of us still face daily stresses, we fail time and again on the field as well as off the field. The tough start to our season this year was a great reminder of that; we went into the bye week after starting 1-5. Yet, during that bye week, I had some of the best moments with the Lord during my quiet time, better than I have had in a long time. And a large part of it was because I was struggling so much in what I do professionally. I think that drove me closer to the Lord. Not that I wanted to start 1-5, but I know that God can use that to bring me closer to Him and develop things in me that otherwise might not get developed.
I trust that God’s not going to waste a hurt, He’s not going to waste a failure; He’s going to use it for my good and His glory. And I believe that’s the life of the Christian walk. I believe that as you read the teachings of Jesus, He doesn’t promise wealth or success in the world’s eyes. In fact, He promises suffering. So you understand when you choose to follow Jesus, it also means you take up your cross. He makes it clear that there are sacrifices to be made in following Him.
In that bye-week quiet time, I was seeking to learn more about how God develops the soul. The fruit that comes out of your life is a direct result of the health of your soul. You can look at your behaviors in life as an indicator of what’s going on inside you as a person. God wants your heart. Second Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” I want God’s strong support; I think we all do. But it starts with asking ourselves if our heart is completely His. If it is, He promises His strong support, but our job is to get our heart right before Him first. That’s how that bye week was spent — in quiet time trying to ask the Lord to search my heart and help me understand where I am broken and how I need to mature spiritually.
Keep teaching me, Lord, how You want me to grow as a person.
— Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings quarterback
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