Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trials into Gold

Super Bowl XLIV had a thrilling finish, a victorious underdog, and a great backstory, with the trials that the city of New Orleans and the Gulf Region have endured. This helped it to be the most watched TV program ever.

At the heart of this was New Orleans QB Drew Brees. He had his own hard-luck tale. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers, but struggled his first few years. The Chargers grew frustrated and drafted a replacement, Philip Rivers. Just as they did this, Brees became a good quarterback. He was undersized, but his intelligence, mobility, and competitive nature helped him keep his understudy on the bench.

The last game of the 2005 season was momentous for Brees. The Chargers were out of the playoffs, but he fought hard in the game. He lost a fumble in the end zone, and rather than staying out of the fray, he dove to try and save his mistake. Instead of getting the ball, his right throwing arm was crushed under huge bodies, and he had a terrible tear in his shoulder.

The Chargers were considering what to do with him, so the injury made it easy to say goodbye. Brees had surgery, but was looking for a team to pick him up. The Dolphins sorely needed one, but they felt he was too risky.

This opened the doors for him to become a Saint.

He spoke in interviews leading up to the Super Bowl that he and his wife felt like coming to New Orleans was "a calling." The team was displaced during Katrina, and the owner thought about moving his team elsewhere, perhaps San Antonio. It was a risky place for players to go, but New Orleans took a chance on several people discarded by their prior teams.

Four years later, Drew Brees is a champion QB and MVP of the Super Bowl. It was hard to miss his teary eyed celebration with his young son after the game. I hadn't heard whether Brees was a Christian or not prior to the game, but he started using the platform he won to give glory to God. As he says in the interview before (which was before the Super Bowl, but I hadn't seen it), what was the worst thing that could happen to him actually turned out to be a huge blessing, considering it brought him to New Orleans. He is more than just an athelete. He and his wife are spearheading charity work to help rebuild a city that still needs lots to recover.

This made me think of a trial of my own. When I first started blogging in 2006, a couple of months into it I lost my job for fluke circumstances. The funny thing was, God set everything up. It was a hard time to be unemployed even though my bosses had said they liked me and couldn't fault my work. I knew God would see things through, as He promises in the Word, but it wasn't easy.

I don't have a Super Bowl ring (and never will, unless I buy the Cowboys from Jerry Jones), but looking back, I am in a much better situation. I have a good, secure job with a great schedule for my family. Since then I have a new house and a wonderful daughter. I will soon have some financial flexibility, and I hope to be able to do some things for the Lord through this.

Trials will come. People who claim Bible promises don't usually turn to the passage that talks about there *will* be suffering, but it happens to the best of God's people. Hopefully, stories like mine and like Drew Brees can be an encouragement that God truly does work all things good to those He loves and has called according to His purpose.
Check out the interview with Drew Brees below for more insight. He's a cool guy, and one of my new favorite NFL players.

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