Friday, March 1, 2013

.One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure.

For those whom don't know me personally and haven't heard my story yet, it's real simple. It started off like many families whom have no other option but to relocate because of economic situations. For me, this move happened at the worst possible time - during my junior year of high school. Having to leave behind both everything I knew and everyone I loved, my family moved from Bradenton, FL to Chattanooga, TN. At first, I completely hated it and held my parents 100% responsible for why my life was so miserable. As weeks passed by my attitude never changed. As months passed by I still held a grudge against my parents, but everything was soon take a 180° turn! My life was forever changed on December 21, 2009 when my father was struck by an unexpected heart attack and passed away at the age of 46. Only 16 years old, my hope for ever having a "good" childhood was all but lost. Looking back, the only reason that I'm where I am today and I'm the person that I am today is because for the upcoming months, after my father passed, my faith remained strong in God in that everything would work out for His purpose. Ever since December 21, 2009 my faith has never been the has grown and remained, til this day, a rock-solid faith which is the foundation of my life!

After watching how determined Adrian Peterson played this past NFL season, it's hard to recognize that the previous Christmas Eve he tore both his ACL & MCL. As Peterson took a hit from Washington Redskin's safety, DeJon Gomez, all he could remember was hearing 3 pops. After laying on the field in severe pain for several minutes, he was carted off and taken back to the locker room where he was greeted by his father. As any father would, he tried to enlighten the situation by explaining to his son that everything would be okay; but, the way Peterson responded to his father is what I find to be so remarkable! He simply said, "This is a blessing dad" and then quoted Philippians 4:13 saying, "I can do all things through Christ whom strengthens me." Despite facing such a huge setback, his faith never shattered but remained strong and hopeful in the Lord. Essentially, Peterson was living out a verse in Isaiah that focuses on the strength and love of God in the midst of trials. Isaiah 41:10 reads, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." You see, Peterson didn't allow the devil to attack his thoughts on the spot, but rather he trusted in God that all things would work together for his good (Romans 8:28 - and we know that all things that God works for the good of those whom love Him, whom have been called according to His purpose). Ask yourself, in the midst of setbacks and opposition, does your faith remain strong in God or, like many of us including myself, do you immediately turn to the negative aspect of the situation?

Blogging about having faith in the middle of disaster is actually quite ironic, for me, because as we got together this week for our FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) small group, the topic of discussion just happened to be about how do we react when we are faced with opposition. We focused on the Book of James, specifically James 1:2-3 which says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." Remember when Peterson said, "This is  blessing" to his father? He didn't use his injury as a crutch for why his life had took such a wrong turn, but rather he view his setback as a blessing, trusting that God would you his injury for something greater! Little do we realize, that in times of trouble, God is working in our lives to help us develop a rock-solid faith so that ultimately we can look to our past situations and glorify Him. Little do we realize, that in those particular times when we are broken at our feet, God is right by our side! We just have to have the same mindset as Peterson, whom rather than allowing the devil to attack him when he was most vulnerable, trusted in God and remained strong in His faith. As is says in Romans 12:12, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." No matter what trials we face or what sufferings we endure, God tells us to remain patient and have faith knowing that He will ultimately our setbacks as opportunities to glorify Him.

 From where he started to where he finished, I think Adrian Peterson has made an unbelievable recovery. Through his entire recovery process all I can remember is consistent doubt of everyone saying that he wouldn't be the same......he would never be able to recover from such a huge blow! Quite frankly, they're correct in that he was never the same player! You see, when we trust in God in that He will work everything out for His will rather than relying on ourselves and looking at setbacks with a pessimistic attitude, He is willing to reward us for our faith. Just look at 1 Samuel 26:23a which reads, "The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness". In Peterson's case, he almost broke Eric Deckerson's single season rushing record and led the Minnesota Vikings to a playoff birth, speaking truth that God does work for those whom truly love Him. 

- Madison Franek