His win on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers is typical of how the Denver quarterback overcomes obstacles and criticism.
Reaction to Personal Danger and Potential Stillbirth
The setbacks began even before he was born. During her pregnancy, his mother caught a life-threatening infection, and the drugs used to treat her caused the placenta to become detached from the uterine wall. Her life was in danger, and doctors strongly advised an abortion. They also fully expected the baby to be stillborn.
A devout Christian, Mrs. Tebow refused to sacrifice her baby for the sake of her own health. By taking her pregnancy to full term, she is a wonderful example to all pregnant women considering abortion.
And look at how God rewarded her selflessness!
Reaction to Early Detractors
Throughout his football career Tim Tebow was constantly being warned that he wouldn’t succeed.
When he was a contender for the Heisman Trophy, he was told he wouldn’t win it. I love his ad on TV, where he lists the many situations where he was ‘dissed’ and told he wasn’t good enough. He graciously says ‘I appreciate that!’
Instead of getting back at his detractors with abusive language, or throwing his vindicating successes in their faces, he makes his point with a polite comment of thanks.
His strength to be such a gentleman comes from being a true follower of Christ.
Reaction to Criticism of His Throwing Arm
The media verbally tore apart Tebow’s throwing style and ability after he joined the Denver Broncos. Undeterred, and without defending himself, he worked on improving this weak area.
His humility was rewarded when his coach allowed him to play the college-style running game. This departure from the professionals’ passing game took the Broncos’ opponents by surprise.
The humble quarterback’s faith in Christ, together with his and his team’s unrelenting hard work, led to the Broncos’ six game winning streak. And Tebow didn't forget to publically give the thanks where it belonged.
Faith, humility and hard work pay off.
Reaction to Two Losses
The media were quick to announce that Tim Tebow’s NFL career was over when the Broncos suffered two losses in a row.
He was a flash in the pan, couldn’t throw the ball accurately to save his life, and would soon be ousted as Denver’s starting quarterback. The game against the Steelers on Sunday would be his last, and even then he’d probably be replaced halfway through.
Tebow swallowed all the negative comments, accepted responsibility for his team and walked out with Christ onto that home field.
When the early score was 3-0 in favor of the Steelers, my husband said it would get ugly and the Broncos would be crushed. I told him Tebow would win: I just knew Christ wouldn’t let him down. (Admittedly I couldn’t watch the game, though, and hid in the den with the TV turned onto a different channel!)
Tebow’s faith was to be rewarded.
Reactions to the Win
When my husband poked his head round the corner to say the game had gone into overtime and Denver had possession, I rushed back into the kitchen.
I was just in time to see Demaryius Thomas catch the winning 80 yard pass from Tebow and ran for a touchdown, 11 seconds into overtime - breaking the record for the fastest overtime touchdown in the history of the NFL, and getting the longest winning touchdown in any playoff game ever.
It was gratifying to watch the cameramen rush to film Tebow kneeling on one knee in his tradmark thanks to God. The quarterback is not afraid to go public with his adoration of Christ, however the crowd chooses to react.
Neither should we be too scared to acknowledge Him openly in case ‘we offend anyone.’
The Biblical Connections
Although they aren't essential for us to understand Who was helping Tim Tebow, the Biblical references attached to the game are interesting. They show that those who might otherwise waiver in their faith are willing to concede that God may be behind Tebow’s success.
1. Tebow threw for a total of 316 yards. John 3:16 is his favorite Biblical saying.
2. Immediately after the game, the Patriots’ Chad Ochocinco tweeted asking if anyone else found it strange that the game’s referees were called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?
3. Demaryius Thomas, who ran for the winning touchdown, was born on Christmas Day (in 1987).
His last name “Thomas” is the Christian name belonging to the doubting apostle. Thomas has suffered from multiple injuries which threatened his future in the NFL. But he never doubted that he would get healthy and play again.
With God there are no coincidences!
Our own wins and losses may not be as public as Tim Tebow’s, but we need to maintain the same level of humility and faith in God as he does, regardless of whether we are winning or losing.
We will be rewarded eventually.
P.S. I have to mention how happy it makes me that the quarterback plays for a team with a horse for its logo! J