Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Devotional: Monday, August 10

“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in You I take refuge.” — Psalm 57:1

Wrestling with Worry

Some athletes are millionaires but most minor-league players make small salaries and live a simple life. The extended families of star athletes experience layoffs like others. Veteran athletes are friends with trainers and support staff.

Therefore, many athletes and coaches are saddened by the suffering of their co-workers and associates. Headaches, upset stomachs, rising blood pressures, sleepless nights and increased anxiety are more common now. Smaller paychecks, high unemployment, worried parents and cabin fever is causing stress among all of us as the quarantine continues. Though some businesses are open, many schools are closed. Doubts and fears overwhelm the minds of many people.

We know we shouldn’t let worry and fear paralyze us, but it’s hard to stop worrying just like it’s hard to eat only one mouthful of chips and salsa. When we worry, it’s helpful to remember the following words of Jesus:

“‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?'” (Matthew 6:25-27).

When David was a shepherd, he protected the sheep from lions, bears and robbers. “But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.'” (1 Samuel 17:34-35).

If we remember God is watching over us like a good shepherd all the time, then we worry less. In a time of distress, David wrote down his prayer for an inspiration to all generations. “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in You I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me. He sends from Heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me — God sends forth His love and His faithfulness” (Psalm 57:1-3).

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.

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