There's a Bigger Plan - Trey Burton

There will always be confrontation between coaches and players. There’s no getting around it. They will have one idea of how the team should be run and what your role within that framework should look like, and you’ll most likely have another idea. Even if you do agree on this, there will be plays, teammates’ positions and training routines that you won’t agree with. What I’ve learned is that I can only control what I can control, and the rest I have to let go of. 

For example, I can’t control how much playing time I get. Early on in my NFL career, I didn’t get a lot of it. But instead of sitting there on the bench and complaining about it, I decided to work that much harder in practices and take every opportunity I was given to play my best on the field. There was no point in arguing with my coach or griping about it with my teammates.

Your coach will be wrong at times; no one is perfect. But he, out of all people, wants the best for your team as a whole. You have to humble yourself and submit to your coach’s leadership no matter what decision he makes. It’s not always about you; there’s a bigger picture to think about, a larger team at stake. You may be focused on your play and your career, but he sees the overall picture of what it takes to make a team great.

In the same way, God calls us to humble ourselves before Him and submit to His leadership. First Peter 5:6 tells us, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” As I have faced many injuries throughout the past few years, it’s been really hard for me to see the big picture. I just want to get better and get better quickly. The daily ups and downs are draining, but at the end of the day, I have to trust that God has a bigger plan even with injuries. 

In Psalm 127:1, we read, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” As I read this, I can recognize I go through tough times for a reason, even if I can’t see what it is right away. I would love for the Lord to heal me of my injuries overnight, but if He is wanting me to go through that process, I will humbly seek Him and be obedient to follow His path for me. 

In the book of Job, we see a man who was following God obediently, and yet, God allowed Satan to take everything from him. The physical things he had to endure left him an inch from death, but at the end of the book, we watch as God reveals Himself to Job. When he does, Job is left embarrassed and ashamed that he questioned God’s purposes behind his pain. In Job 42:5 he says, “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.” 

After reading Job’s story, I don’t dare question God. I know He has a plan for everything I go through and I trust Him to deliver in bigger ways than I can imagine. Instead of questioning God, I want to figure out how I can best grow spiritually through every situation and impact others who may be going through the same. After all, how can we minister to others if we first have not experienced suffering for ourselves? 

— Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts tight end

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

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