My hometown of Philadelphia, PA has just won the Super Bowl. However, that’s not the story I want to talk about. The bigger story that caught my eye was that of the acting quarterback and Super Bowl MVP of the Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Foles.
Here’s a man who just two years ago wanted to quit playing football. He gave up hope on his dream after feeling the harsh rejections and realities of the professional football league. For years, just as many other boys who fall in love with the game, he dreamt of playing in the NFL and becoming a champion. He was drafted in 2012 by the Philadelphia Eagles to play backup quarterback for then starting quarterback Michael Vick. After given the chance to start when Vick got injured, Foles played only a few games before succumbing to his own injury of a broken hand. He was then placed on Injury Reserve (IR) therefore ending his season completely. The following year, he was given the opportunity to compete for a starting job against Vick but ultimately lost to his competitor. After being with the Philadelphia Eagles for 2 years playing backup, and at times starting quarterback whenever Vick was unavailable, he was ultimately traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2015 followed by another trade to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016. After spending years of being shuffled around, overlooked, unappreciated and undervalued, he began growing weary that his dreams of being a successful, champion caliber quarterback would never come true.
So one day, two years ago, he woke up and said, “I’m done! I guess I’ll just go ahead and retire!” Okay, I don’t know if those were his exact words but after facing a ton of adversity, including the backlash from fans and the media, this man was ready to quit, retiring his football cleats for good. He had given up hope and lost the spark of his conviction and belief in his dreams ever coming true. Understandably, like many of us who have tried things that don’t quite work out the way we hoped, Foles had grown tired of being overlooked, rejected, dismissed and undervalued. He had grown tired of playing the waiting game. Thankfully, through all the chaos and ups and downs he faced, he clung tightly to his faith, turning to God for the courage to keep going.
Lo and behold just when he wanted to give up hope, God stepped in and turned things around for him, but it didn’t come easy. In 2017, he signed back on to play with the Philadelphia Eagles but he had to be a backup quarterback. Yup, once again he had to take a backseat and watch someone else take the reigns. However, this time would be different. Instead of pouting, groaning and complaining about being put in second place once again, he took this time to develop a servant mentality, honing his craft more, taking what he had learned over the years and ultimately allowing the lessons to make him into a better player. Once the timing was right, God stepped in and provided a chance for him to play and show the world what he was truly made of. Upon getting the opportunity at the right time, he was able to lead his team to their very first Super Bowl Victory in franchise history! Says Foles in an interview,
“I’m a Christian and I believe in God… and when you do great, you stay humble and you give Him glory!”
Isn’t that like God to take an unknown, overlooked, undervalued person / team and make them into somebody special and celebrated?
“But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.” (Luke 22:26 NLT)
““So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”” (Matthew 20:16 NLT)
God will take what everyone else judges and deems as unworthy and unqualified and turn them into qualified winners. He will take overlooked and undervalued people and make them into champions. He will suppress every hater that damned and shamed and cause them to eat their words. Let no man touch what God anoints. Let’s be clear here, this post today is not about placing any man nor team on a pedestal. While I’m proud of my hometown team, I found a deeper message in the midst of the celebration– NEVER GIVE UP!! Keep hope alive for your dreams can come true if you work hard enough for it and wait for God’s perfect timing.
The moral of the story, if not already clear, is to NEVER GIVE UP! Although things may not always go according to our plans, God’s plan is for us to have overwhelming victory. Times may get tough and the road may seem unclear; yet still in the midst of adversity, we should NEVER GIVE UP! People may count you out, throw dirt on your name, talk crap about you and look down upon you but no matter what people say about you, God says, “NEVER GIVE UP!” The road may seem long and the battles may feel too hard to fight, but if God has given you a dream then you should NEVER GIVE UP! Keep God first, fight for your dreams, trudge through the trenches of adversity, ignore the naysayers, power through the rejection and fear of the looming tough times and allow your haters to speak loudly while you work silently behind the scenes. A haters job is to hate, so let them hate from afar as you keep on running down the field towards your victory goal line. You may be overlooked and undervalued now but just like David from the Bible, Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, in due time, God will pour out blessings upon blessings in your favor so that what once was your dream, will become your reality. God’s word will not come back void. He will give you back a greater victory than what you lost, so NEVER GIVE UP!
Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles were counted out, rejected and overlooked, but their victory last night proved that the underdog can come out on top and become champions! So my friends, I strongly reiterate to you one last time, just as I’ve said it personally to myself time and time again, NEVER GIVE UP!!! You never know what lies at the end of the tunnel, or in this case, the game.
Dear God, I pray today that my friends receive and understand this message wholeheartedly. May they never give up on their dreams that you’ve provided them with. Though trials may be great, we know that it’s you who guides our steps. So I ask that you continue to motivate, empower and pour out blessings of abundant strength and courage as we all continue to strive for our dreams. We know that our dreams, our lives are for your glory not just our own. So I thank you in advance for the things you’re about to do in each of our lives and for the victories you’ll one day bestow upon us all in your precious son Jesus name, I pray Amen!
Sincerely with love,
Travel & game photography by IG users: @visitphilly , @colleenaaa , @nbcphiladelphia , @nbcsports , @abcnews , @nfl , & aol.com