What Do You Really Want? – Brandon Boykin

February 17, 2017

My hope for the coming season is to really show the power of Christ in the world and in my life.


God’s been using my season of recovering and rest to purposefully show me more of His power and provision. By experiencing pain, disappointment, and frustration through these trials, my faith has grown tremendously. God has been shaping my life into one with an awesome testimony to be shared with others.


I’m going into 2017 with a different perspective. I see now just how powerful the platform of an NFL athlete is, so as I go back into the game I want to really utilize this opportunity to share the Gospel and impact people with the faith that God has given me. This position God has put me in is precious. Leading up to it, I always thought that I would have a twelve-year career—that everything would go smoothly and I’d be all set. But after some adversity, I began to see things clearly. The reality is there are millions of people who would love to be in the place of an NFL athlete and there I was complaining about the heat of practice, being tired, or being signed to a different team than I had hoped for. But that’s not what this career is about and that’s not what I’m about. This opportunity has been given to me so that whether I’m on or off the field, God can use my life to bring others to Him.


This season of recovery has been pretty hard at times. There are some weeks when I wake up and go to rehab feeling pretty discouraged. Surrounded by people much older than me in a physical therapy office instead of with my teammates on the field. Other times I have a great peace because I know that everything will work out according to God’s plan. In the past I’ve tried to make things happen on my own terms—I had ideas about when I would be drafted, what city I would play in, and how well I would succeed, but every time I try to do things in my own power it doesn’t work. The trials I’ve faced this year have instilled in me a peace that God will always put me right where I need to be.


The type of rehab I’m in is not what I’m used to. Lately I’ve been surrounded by those who I normally wouldn’t have much opportunity to interact with—people who were hurt in a car accident and unable to walk or those who were severely injured in a war. Here I am with a hurt pec and still getting paid daily; these people are really hurt but still extremely joyful. I’ve recognized that my presence as a NFL player gets them excited and when I talk to them I can really brighten their day.


This off-season has shown me that there are many ways to impact people with Christ’s love even if I’m not on the field.


One of the biggest things I’ve learned during this season is how to depend on God as my Unconditional Provider. For me, the theme of this past year has been God telling me, “Be still, stop worrying, and trust Me.” Every time I’ve been faced with a challenge or uncertainty God has come through to deliver me. Yes, my faith has been tested, but God always comes through.


“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!” —Luke 12:24


Recently one of my pastors challenged my Bible study group with the question, “What do you really want in life?” This really hit home for me. Whether I’m in a great situation or not, whether I’m finding athletic success or not, what I really want in life is to have a great impact for Christ. It doesn’t matter what sort of climate I’m in or what team I’m on, what matters is that Christ shines through me. I will not let the distractions of life, social media, or selfish desires get in the way of what God wants to do in and through my life.


—Brandon Boykin


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