Joshua 1:9, John 16:33, Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
On February 16, the celebrity speaker at our Hoops2Heaven basketball celebration at Mt. Zion UMC in Marietta, Georgia, was Mo Isom. She attended Lassiter High School and became an All-American goalkeeper for the LSU women’s soccer team. Isom, 23, shared a powerful testimony of God’s redemptive power in her life.
On her website http://moisom.com, Mo Isom – Restoring Faith to a Generation, Mo writes, “It is my heart to inspire hope in those who feel hopeless, encourage strength in those who feel bound by life’s circumstances, and empower this generation to live life with integrity, character, and passion! Mo is passionate about impacting communities, connecting with individuals, and sharing God’s hope and light in a darkened world.”
Once Mo scored a 90-yard goal in a game as a goalkeeper! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3E-dgyo_jw She drove her free kick almost the length of the field. The ball landed in front of the BYU goalkeeper, took a huge hop and went over her outstretched arms into the net! Her amazing feat was featured on ESPN’s Top 10 plays. That kick made it obvious that not only was Mo an outstanding goalkeeper, she was blessed with a powerful leg!
After Mo completed her degree and soccer eligibility with the women’s team, she competed for the long field-goal kicking position on the 2012 LSU football team as a graduate student. LSU is one of the top college football programs in the country, so her attempt was not like trying out for just any team. Mo trained with the football team over an eighteen-month period, getting stronger and better conditioned. She completed every conditioning drill in the Bayou summer heat and humidity that the male athletes did. In fact, one of LSU’s best athletes commented that she executed the drills better than some of the guys.
Unfortunately Mo did not make the LSU football team as the long field-goal kicker. But Mo earned the respect of the players and coaches and proved to them that she was a champion who could compete at the highest level.
But what if she had not gone out for the football team? What if she had concluded that LSU football was only for boys? She would not have experienced how God helped her persevere under the intense scrutiny, just as God has helped her overcome other personal challenges (see Mo’s testimony at http://moisom.com). Mo’s faith and trust in God has grown through her trials, and she has been assured that she can do all things through Christ who gives her strength (Philippians 4:13).
John 16:33 tells us that we will have trials in our lives, but to be of good cheer, because Jesus overcame the world and gave us hope for eternity through his resurrection. The Holy Trinity, God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit will help us meet our challenges if we include them in our lives daily.
How are you asking God to help you face your challenges? I shared with our basketball players that perhaps you want to go out for a school team or the lead in a school play, but did not try because you are afraid that you will fail. Although Mo did not make the football team, but she did not fail by any means because she gave it her absolute best shot.
The principles of having trust and faith in God also apply in adult lives, but the economy and job pressures attempt to force us to “conform” and “play it safe” and “accept the status quo” in our jobs and our spiritual lives. Let’s spend our lives going for it! Joshua 1:9 reminds us to “be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
There is a saying called “No Regrets.” If you work hard to achieve a goal and fall short, that’s much better than never trying and later wishing you had tried. It’s unpleasant to look back and wish that you had gone for something you dearly love. Live a life with no regrets that is centered on God helping you face your challenges.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for Mo Isom and the story of redemption that you performed in her life. May she inspire this generation of young people with her story of hope, perseverance, and strength through faith in God. In the name of Jesus, amen.