Experiencing this season-ending injury (I tore my posterior cruciate ligament on Oct. 12) has really stretched me in my faith. We often talk about putting our trust in the Lord and depending on Him for strength, but the real test comes when we are faced with adversity.
After surgery I went from 200 pounds to 178 in a few weeks. The procedure literally zapped me of all my strength; I couldn’t eat for 10 days after. During this extremely hard time, one thing became really clear to me: just how dependent I am on the Lord. I had to completely lean into Him and trust that He would bring me through this. I felt like I had been stripped down to nothing as I learned to rely on Him for all the mundane, daily things that are easy to take for granted. I was barely able to move or eat; the simplest things suddenly became almost impossible and very time consuming.
Experiencing this made me so grateful for what I have and for the life God’s given me. But it also made me very aware that as an athlete, there are so many things I can try to find my strength in. Since I can do most things by myself, it becomes easy to rely on my own strength on a daily basis, whether I know I’m doing this or not. But after surgery, suddenly I had to trust in God for every detail and find my strength in Him for even the smallest of things. It’s been a painful process and recovery is slow, but I’ve found a new contentment in the Lord unlike anything I have experienced before.
This was just as much of a mental struggle as it was a physical one. I literally have to bring God into every aspect of my day — my rehab, getting back to working out, making sure I’m taking in the proper nutrition, and doing all the things I need to do to get where I need to be. I have to continually remind myself that the doctor said this would take 9-12 months; it’s going to take time and I need to trust the process. We live in a culture where we all want immediate results and satisfaction, but the Lord is teaching me to be patient as I learn to trust the healing process. So I’m taking joy in the small victories and trusting God with the rest.
I can’t imagine going through this time without Jesus by my side. When difficult times come, all I have to rest in is the love and sovereignty of God. I’m continually asking the Lord, “How can I honor and serve You with my life? How can I draw others to You?” But during this time I’ve realized that though I can still point others toward Christ through this situation, God wants to refine me in this time. He wants me to draw closer to Him as He both challenges and encourages me. The Lord is meeting me here in the pain.
So my prayer for this season is, “God, what do You want to teach me? Let’s go deeper so I can find ways in which I need to trust in and rely on You more.”
— Chris Maragos, Philadelphia Eagles safety