By Brenda Black
I heard the name from sports commentators throughout the National Championship Game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the University of Florida. I had not paid much attention to the Heisman winning quarterback since my alma mater's Chase Daniel lost the 2007 bid. Yet, I found myself enamored with the onslaught of compliments toward the iconic leader of the Florida Gators, Tim Tebow, each time they mentioned his name. Because of this impressive student, God received more credit in a three hour football contest and pre-game show, than in an entire year of broadcast on network t.v. My hat's off to Tebow for his exemplary reputation and my heart is warmed by his story that reveals the Lord 's amazing touch in his life.
The 6-3, 240 pound dynamo helped deliver answers to Gator prayers with the 2008 national title, but his performance last week doesn't hold a candle to the miracle God performed in his life off the field. Tebow never would have been born, if his mother, Pam, would have listened to the doctor who advised her to abort in order to survive amoebic dysentery. She contracted the illness while serving alongside her husband, Bob, as missionaries in the Philippines in 1987. They prayed instead. And 22 years later his life is a living witness.
Just as this rising star gains more and more opportunity to share his faith with sports fans, another God-fearing football notable is stepping off the field. Coach Tony Dungy leaves a big faith-in-action footprint to fill. His genuine Christianity is already documented in a hardback book, while Tebow's total impact remains unwritten. But where the young and old football heroes merge is in their desire to make a difference somewhere other than between two goalposts.
Tebow spends his summers ministering to orphans and the impoverished. He visits the imprisoned and offers them Christ. Dungy has a desire to reach young men for the Lord and help them learn how to be godly fathers for it is his own dad's positive Christian influence that Dungy admires most.
I know of yet another man, Brady Black, who is playing in the game of his life and winning the respect and admiration of thousands for his faithful witness. He once played football and is still a huge fan, but the real contest is being played not in a stadium, but in a hospital in Texas and in the body of his little boy. One day, Brady's son will carry the torch of Christian testimony because of such great faith in a God who delivers miracles. Because of his parent's prayers, my great-nephew, Kobe, will grow to know about the miraculous touch of the Lord. And who knows...maybe some day, the commentary on his life will convey great respect when his parents' faith becomes his own. And the story written will tell of his far-reaching impact on the world.
That's what happens when we put faith in action. We leave a legacy and we lead others to the Lord. I know God is getting the credit he deserves every time I hear Kobe's name and I watch miracles take place. God's gracious answers to prayer will always be bigger than a national championship. These three men know that full well.
**Note – Kobe is four years old and recuperating from three successive surgeries in the past two months to remove thyroid cancerous tumors including one on the brain. Each procedure has produced miraculous results and rapid resiliency. Radiation therapy is scheduled in February to eradicate any remaining cancer cells. To learn more about Kobe's journey and God's touch, visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kobeblack Thank you so much for the loving prayers lifted for Kobe. You are part of the miracle.