Under Pressure

Written by Tim Tebow
Published on February 19, 2021

What’s pressure? Another word for fear. It’s fear that tells us, You’re not good enough. Pressure can overcome many athletes in big moments. It can be easy to succumb to the fear and think, I can’t live up to the hype . . . I can’t make this play in the crunch time . . . I can’t perform under the bright lights when everyone is watching . . .

Fear is a powerful emotion. It’s something that controls a lot of people, not just athletes.

While playing with the Broncos, though I may have feared that I might not get the shot or that if we lost, my position would be taken away, I was always driven further by love. By the love I have for the game and for my teammates, for what we can make possible when we rally together.

Fear can push or motivate you to do things, sometimes even good things, but it will never take you as far as love can take you.

I think about my dad, a missionary, a man who has the most courage of anyone I’ve ever met. In 1985, he and my mom moved the family (nine-year-old Christy, seven-year-old Katie, four-year-old Robby, and one-year-old Peter) to the Philippines. He felt moved in his heart to serve the people of this country, which is made up of seven-thousand-plus islands. This was a time of political unrest when Communist insurgents known as the New People’s Army were often at odds with and in violent conflicts against the Philippine government.

My family lived on the remote southern island of Mindanao. Two years later they moved to Manila, where I was born. When I was only a week old, Dad watched, shocked, as armed rebel forces rolled into a village in military tanks, the noise deafening, hoping to take over a local broadcast facility. Gunfire sounded in the streets as the government forces defended themselves against the insurgents. Needless to say, Dad came back quickly to our house. We gathered some personal belongings and evacuated immediately, taking refuge in a hotel.

That’s pretty scary stuff. My dad has countless stories of how fear could have easily overtaken him. But it didn’t. Why? Because his love for the people of the Philippines and, more importantly, his love for God were stronger than what he could have feared was possible. In fact, my mom recently told me that one time while Dad was preaching, someone holding a knife ran right behind where he was standing, holding his arm high in the air as if to attack Dad with the weapon. My father didn’t even notice the guy. It took all of a few seconds before someone tackled the knife-wielding man. Dad, so engrossed in preaching and loving on the Filipinos, wasn’t moved at all by the commotion.

I learned a lot about fear and love from my dad. While I was in the process of this unconventional upbringing, he taught us a lot of Scripture about fear—many verses that my mom put to song so that we would always remember that God is greater than anything we could possibly be afraid of.

Dad sacrificed so much to leave the States, move an entire family to a foreign country, and share the love of Jesus with people who couldn’t do anything for him in return. There is something extremely powerful about that. This is love in action.

What fears overwhelm you? And what are you feeding more? Your fears, or your love for a God who has promised to be faithful?

 


 

Adapted from Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms. Copyright © 2018 by Tim Tebow with A. J. Gregory. Used by permission of WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

 

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Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is a two-time national champion, first-round NFL draft pick, and Heisman Trophy winner. After playing in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets, Tebow joined the SEC Network. In addition to his role on SEC Nation, the network’s traveling road show, Tebow also contributes to a variety of other ESPN platforms. In 2016 he signed a professional baseball contract with the New York Mets. Through everything Tim’s true passion remains the work of the Tim Tebow Foundation, which he began in 2010. The foundation’s mission is to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The foundation is fulfilling that mission every day by serving thousands of deserving children around the world. Tim’s latest book Bronco & Friends: A Party to Remember is now available for purchase.

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