Last Sunday the Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime. It took only 10 seconds! Tebow whipped the ball downfield to Demarius Thomas, who had a couple yards on his man, and Thomas caught the ball in full stride…..it was a perfect throw, and a perfect catch, and Thomas ran in for a touchdown. My heart sings when I see again, with my minds’ eye, that seamless pass. I imagine the arm of God reaching down and touching Tebow’s throwing arm, like God’s finger touching Adam’s finger in Michelangelo’s artistry in the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Could that have really happened?
Officially, Tebow threw for 316 yards last Sunday. That’s a magical number for Christians. The first time I saw Tebow play, in his last year of college football, the TV camera zoomed in close, and I was able to see clearly the words John 3:16 which he had etched in his eye black. And a few million other Americans saw it too! In fact this set off 92 million Google searches for the scripture reference.
“If the measure of evangelism is the number of eyes and ears one reaches, then Tebow is possibly a more influential Christian messenger than any active Protestant cleric….His Twitter feed spreads an evangelical message to 800,000 followers (he has 1.3 million Facebook subscribers), and his signature symbol is GB2 (for God Bless + Go Broncos)”.#
Before last week’s game, Tebow had played poorly for three games, and he was asked by an interviewer, whether he had lost his confidence. I heard Tebow say No he was still confident in himself and in his team. I’ve played enough competitive tennis to know that my confidence would have been down (but not my determination). But he said confidence, and that made me think he must have had confidence in God. We believe in God, and that’s an easy thing to do. At the next level is to trust in God, and that’s harder. At the highest level, to have confidence in God, is a real challenge when we are depressed, or sick, or have financial problems, or are hurting in some other way. But this is the confidence of Shadrach and his colleagues.
“After last week’s game, Tebow came out for the press conference in a knit cap and a vest, jeans and sneakers. He offered praise to God…..He spoke of how privileged he was to spend time before the game with Bailey Knaub, a 16-year-old who has endured 73 surgeries battling Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare disease that attacks vital organs”. $
This Saturday evening, Denver plays the New England Patriots, who in December beat Denver soundly by 41-23. Denver finished the season 8-8, while New England finished 13-3, and this game will be played in the Patriot’s house. It is clear that New England are a strong favorite, but the lesson of last week may be that one shouldn’t count out the long arm of the Lord connecting with Tim Tebow’s throwing arm, which in turn connects with a receiver racing downfield.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers….
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# Excerpts from Time Magazine, Jon Meacham article, January 16 issue.
$ “Tebow’s Most Amazing Trait? Humility”, by Mark Kriegel, FOXSports.com, 10 January 2012.
A couple of other fascinating articles by the press on Tim Tebow (if the link doesn’t connect, you can copy and paste these into your browser):