by Joy Allmond, contributing writer
If you have been following the news lately—or even if you haven’t—it’s hard to escape the troubles, the negativity and the obstacles facing our world and our culture today.
Riots and civil unrest in Ferguson. Ebola scares. ISIS threats. And those just include the things that make national news. And while we are on the subject of news, what about the public turmoil and personal tragedies that have taken place in the lives of athletes?
But could it be that God uses even sports to show His power to overcome obstacles?
During the 2008 Big 10 Women’s Indoor Track Championship, Heather Dorniden took a tumble about halfway through her 600-meter dash while she was in the lead. However, a three-minute viral video showed her getting back up, catching up and winning the event.
Heather Dorniden at the Big 10 Women’s Indoor Track Championship, before her fall.
While her struggle (rightfully) seems much less significant than many of the struggles we face today, God often uses events and stories like this to bring our attention to a bigger reality—He can overcome.
He will overcome.
In John 16:33, Jesus told His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (NIV)
He had spent the chapters and verses leading up this this statement explaining the different kind of obstacles they would face in this fallen world: persecution. Grief. Loneliness. And the list goes on.
And when we look around at the world around us—and even within our own hearts and homes—it is safe to say that not much has changed.
It is also safe to say that everyone has a set of obstacles to overcome, in varying degrees. What obstacle(s) do you face today? It’s not beyond the reach of Jesus’ hand.
Before we close, there are a couple of other things worth noting about Dorniden’s story.
First, she put forth the effort. She fell, but she gave it her all and God met her where she was, right on that track. When we ask God to help us overcome, we must be willing to do the painful, necessary work and meet Him wherever He wants to work in our lives to overcome these obstacles.
Another thing to note is that even though Dorniden had the major obstacle of the tumble, she still finished. And she finished well.
As you pray to ask God in helping you overcome difficulties in your life, ask yourself: Along with my prayers, am I living and working in such a way that God will bless my efforts? Is my focus on finishing this life well, just as much as it is on being delivered from the struggle?
May your answer to both of these questions be a resounding “yes” and may God make you an overcomer.
Joy Allmond is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.