Posted by: mikenicholsblog | February 6, 2017

shaken, not deterred

By the time anyone reads this article, Super Bowl Fifty-One will be over. The non-stop pregame build up, the overrated commercials, and a game that may or may not have lived up to its billing is in the books. And most of us are regretting the amount of unhealthy food we ate. In honor of this once-a-year event, let me share a Patriot story from just a few years back.

The story comes from the newly released book by Tim Tebow, entitled Shaken. Most sports fans can remember the magical story of Tim Tebow leading the Denver Broncos to the playoffs in the 2011 season. His life was scrutinized beyond belief. His faith was on center stage, and God used Tebow’s testimony. But then he was traded to the New York Jets, and later released. Eventually, the journey took him to the New England Patriots in June of 2013. His book is clear about his respect for the Patriots. After signing with the team, a one-day endorsement opportunity came Tebow’s way for a million dollars. One Million dollars!!!  Being a team guy, he asked the coach’s opinion. Coach Belichick thought about it and said, “Timmy, I would really appreciate it if you didn’t.”

Two months later on August 31st, Tim Tebow was released. Have you ever had that feeling of disappointment when after trying to honor others, and your Lord, everything seemed to fall apart. My first thought would have been, “Lord, I gave up a million dollars and got cut?!” But God’s design is more about His glory than our comfort or prosperity. Tim Tebow was obviously shaken, but quickly regained his spiritual bearings.  “I prayed, my words weaving between questions and faith, doubt and surety. ‘God, I don’t know what’s happening, and I don’t have a clue what You are doing, but I believe You have me here for a reason. I believe You’ve got a plan. I know this is not the end of my story. I may not be ecstatic about what You have in mind, but I’m in this with You. Whatever happens, I’m in.’” (from Shaken)

Tim’s comments remind me of the counsel in Hudson Taylor’s words. “I know that He tries me only to increase my faith, and that is all in love. Well, if He is glorified, I am content.” Hudson Taylor, Tim Tebow, and all of us will at times be faced with detours to our plans. God has the final say in how our race should be run, and although there will be shaken moments for all of us, joy comes from trusting His design.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)

The detours that you and I have taken probably haven’t involved turning down a million dollars, only to then lose our job. But we have been shaken nonetheless. Tebow’s resulting response (quoted above) gives us the pattern for success in Christ. “God, I may not understand it, but I’m in.” But more importantly, when we are detoured and shaken, all Christ-followers can trust that Psalm 37:23-24 applies to us. He directs our steps! And that is better than any Super Bowl win!

PS: I was for the Falcons…

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