In a recently released inspirational book designed to help people overcome personal tribulations and sorrows in life, former NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp asserts that people need to rejoice in their trials, pains, sufferings and griefs because they serve as opportunities to “run to Jesus” and “experience more of his love.”
Kemp explains in his book, Facing The Blitz, which was released in March, that when life’s “blitzes” hit, it is important that victims and sufferers not feel sorry for themselves. He said they should seek the comfort of God in order to change and mold them into better human beings that can then use their trying experiences to impact the lives of others.
The 55-year-old Kemp spent most of his 11-year NFL career as a backup quarterback waiting for an opportunity to prove that he could become a reliable and consistent starting quarterback at football’s highest level.
After being traded from the San Francisco 49ers, where he served as the backup for Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, to the Seattle Seahawks, Kemp received a golden opportunity to prove his worth as a starting quarterback in 1988, when the Seahawks then-starter Dave Krieg went down with an injury.
In a game against the very star-studded team that traded him away to Seattle in 1987, Kemp was given given the opportunity to start week four’s game against the 49ers. After an intense week of practice, Kemp was ready to take the bull by the horns and show the league that he could be a winning quarterback.
However, it only took one half of the game for Kemp’s dream to burst into flames. After the first half, the Seahawks fell behind by a score of 28-0, while Kemp threw three interceptions and completed just one pass in 12 attempts. Kemp was taken out of the game at halftime and was then relegated to not just the backup quarterback role but the third-string quarterback role.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Kemp said he was distraught after being moved to third string. But, with the help of his family and mentors he was able to see the bigger picture behind his life and realized that his true identity is not in football, but rather in Christ.
“The main thing was remembering that, as a football player that is a Christian, I am the son of God that is a Christian who happens to be a football player. My identity is shaped by the God that made me and the one who radically and sacrificially, notoriously loved me,” Kemp explained. “I may have been relegated to third string and there maybe some football fans that thought that I played crappy because they saw one half of a game that doesn’t represent the real me and the scope of my whole career, but that was supposed to shape me.”
In his book, Kemp explained that America has gotten too caught up on the idea of a performance-based value system, when God weighs people on a relational value system. He challenged those facing life’s hardships, whether it is because they lost their jobs or a loved one, to seek a meaningful relationship with God and ask God to reveal more about himself to them.
“We rejoice while we are in our difficulties because they bring about perseverance in our relationship with God and that brings the character of Jesus into our life. That brings us the hope of heaven, which is what Jesus was focused on,” Kemp asserted. “When we have the hope of heaven, we realize that Jesus died on the cross, he rose from the dead, and he did it for us. He sacrificed for us. He will forgive us of every sin and he won’t shame us one bit.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post