Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Strength Not Our Own - Chris Maragos

The strength of the team is not built on any one guy. This has become more evident to me this year. In fact, it’s been a major blessing to realize our team is truly a team.

Being out for most of this season has not been easy. I put so much work into my sport throughout the entire year, and then to not be out there competing with my teammates is the worst. I can’t sacrifice to help them. Sitting there on the shelf, I have to watch from afar.

But despite being out, along with a number of our starters, our team has been amazing. We have so many leaders on the team — guys who are great influencers. These men give life to all those around them, including me. Expectations and roles may change, but the strength of our team has remained.

This is not only the case on the field, but the spiritual strength of the team has been increasing steadily. Through the trials we’ve faced this season, we’ve been able to rely more heavily on our faith in Christ. Not one person’s faith is reliant on another’s. Everyone is relying on and looking to Jesus. Like any great church, team or group of people, we cannot rely solely on a leader or person in charge because if they are suddenly no longer able to carry the torch, the team is left stagnant, confused and without direction. But when we all look to Jesus as our strength, we cannot be moved.

He is our leader; He is our strength.

“This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” — 2 Corinthians 1:9-11

The book of 2 Corinthians really focuses on the theme of endurance. In the first few chapters, Paul talks about how he is able to endure only because of the love and strength of Christ. In the same way, I find that when my gaze is on myself or my own circumstances, I lose heart and the endurance to push through difficult times. But when my focus is on Jesus and my heart has been captured by Him, I can endure. He gives me the power to push through because however devastating the battle is, there’s something greater at the end.

If I’m struggling, I never want to make it seem like everything’s great. After my knee surgery, I wasn’t about to post a photo of me looking like a million bucks because that’s not real life. I want people to know I’m able to rely on Jesus in the moments I need Him most. When I’m weak, then I am strong, only by His strength.

We don’t experience much growth until we are stretched and perplexed on all sides. When we embrace the difficult seasons of life, we can experience Christ on a deeper level than we ever have before.

Chris Maragos, Philadelphia Eagles safety

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