All athletes at the Tokyo Olympics have fascinating life stories. Often, their stories of growing as athletes are also stories of growing closer to God. From swimming champion Katie Ledecky to track and field star Allyson Felix, many Olympians derive strength from their faith. As hard as they compete to win, and as difficult as it is for them to lose, they’re aware that the journey itself matters most. Olympic athletes value learning and growing even more than medals. They persevere and pursue excellence, no matter what challenges they encounter. Win or lose, Olympians do their best and aim to finish well. Watching their awe-inspiring journeys can motivate us to run our own race of faith well, relying on God's strength day by day.
The Olympics shows us graceful strength in action. God, the source of all strength, stands ready to give us all (Olympians or not) the strength we need to face any circumstances. As Philippians 4:13 declares: “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” God is always metaphorically running alongside us through every situation our lives. Sometimes we feel like we’re winning; at other times we feel as if we’re losing. Yet, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Experiencing wonder gives us the perspective we need to notice God’s presence with us. The awareness that our awesome God is right there beside us is encouraging in any circumstances – win or lose. Wonder brings our attention to the fact that we can “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10). No matter what circumstances we face, we can grow stronger through them because God is right there with us, cheering us on all the way to the finish line of our lives.
Read more about how wonder can help us grow stronger, in Wake Up to Wonder and in my Crosswalk.com articles “5 Ways to See God’s Wonder through the Olympics” and “21 Motivating Sports Bible Verses for Athletes”.