Sports are just games, but they also teach faith lessons.
A good example is Carson Wentz, the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz suffered a season-ending injury last December, an injury that hasn’t completely healed. Not only did he miss his team’s Super Bowl victory, he’s not sure when he’ll reclaim his starting role.
In this video, Dr. Paul David Tripp asks Wentz how his faith got him through his injury and the disappointment over the opportunities he missed.
Wentz said his faith told him that God stayed with him during his injury.
“He knew exactly what he was doing,” he told Tripp. “I might not have seen it. I’m still trying to figure out why. I could drive myself crazy trying to figure that out. But at the end of the day I’m trusting that he has a perfect plan for my life.”
Wentz referenced Proverbs 16:9 as a verse that helped him through the times he was sidelined and unable to play: “In our hearts, humans plan their course but it’s the Lord who establishes their steps.”
Carson Wentz describes himself as a planner, with a need to be in control.
“I couldn’t do that anymore,” Wentz admitted. “I had to surrender that and trust that he has something good on the other end. I don’t know what that is…I might never know what that looks like here on earth but I know someday there will be stories, powerful testimony of walking through those times. Seeing Nick (Foles) get his opportunity and the story of him and his family. There’s a much bigger story being told than my knee injury.”
Foles took Wentz’s place as starting quarterback and guided the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory, being named the game’s MVP in the process. Foles is also a devout Christian.
Although Wentz shows great character in deferring to Foles and his accomplishments, professional athletes are driven and competitive. Wentz is no different.
“It was tough,” Wentz told Tripp. “Your emotions are telling you things like ‘be mad at God’ but knowing that my foundation is on the word of God, I had peace.”
He is also relying on the promise that God is making him a better person through the injury.
“I believe God uses trials and tough times to purify people. The Bible tells us we’re like gold, going through the refiners fire. Gold, when it is pulled out of the ground, it is ugly, it’s dirty. But how does it get made into pure gold? it’s put through the fire. That fire for some of us is the hardships, the trials, the struggle, the things that nobody wants to actually endure. But you come out the other end, brighter, shinier, more like Christ.”
When Wentz will return to the field is an unanswered question and one that certainly continues to test his faith. There have even been reports this week that the team may bench him for the entire 2018-19 season to ensure he completely heals.
Carson Wentz is proving his faith is strong enough to persevere even that unpleasant possibility.