by Shannon Caughey
You are never fully sure what is going to happen when you’re coaching. Sometimes it seems your team gets all the bad breaks during a game. A serious injury to a star player can suddenly change the course of your season. Your school can have several years in a row with student classes that are thin on talent when it comes to your sport, leading to mediocre win totals and questions about your job security.
More broadly, life is likewise filled with uncertainties. Whether in coaching or life, these uncertainties can lead to anxiety or fear. You might be tempted to try to control things or people that in reality are beyond your control. But it doesn’t have to be this way. When you surrender in faith to Jesus Christ, you have a relationship with the God who gives you what you need in a world often characterized by uncertainty.
In this series of devotions, we’re considering how a deepening knowledge of God impacts how we coach and live. A particular way God reveals who he is and what he’s like is through the various names and titles used of him in Scripture. One of these found repeatedly in the Bible is “Rock.” This is especially the case in the Psalms, including Psalm 18.
David opens Psalm 18 by saying, “1 I love you, Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” In v. 31, he asks, “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” Near the end of the psalm (v. 46), David proclaims, “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”
When David and others in the Bible speak of God as the Rock, they are not picturing a piece of gravel or a medium-sized stone. The image they have in mind is a massive boulder or the huge rocky outcrops that characterized the mountains and hills in their land. Understanding this, here are two truths about God that his title of “the Rock” communicate:
1. The Lord is the source of true stability.
When applied to God, the image of the rock points to how he is immovable and unchanging. We can rely completely upon him, his character, and his promises. If we try to base our identity and value on coaching success or any other pursuit apart from God, we are building on a shaky foundation. These things can come crashing down at any time. But when our identity and value are based on the Lord and what he says, we find in him our rock, our strength, and our refuge. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” That’s true stability.
2. The Lord is the source of true security.
David had plenty of experience in battle. He understood what it was like to be attacked by enemies bent on his demise. In these situations, he knew that stationing himself on a rock high above his attackers gave him the most secure position. David draws a parallel to what God our rock provides when we look to him. The Lord is our fortress, shield, and stronghold – all images that communicate great security. When we face opposition to our efforts to coach for Christ, or when refusing to compromise integrity means that we sacrifice wins and perhaps even our job, or when we encounter circumstances that tempt us to be anxious or afraid – we remain completely secure as we trust the Lord. He is with us and he is unchanging in his sovereign power over all and his unfailing love toward us.
Coach, you need something or someone who will give you real stability and security in the midst of the uncertainties of coaching and life. You need to build on a foundation that is as solid as a rock. As David says, “Who is the Rock except our God?” There is only One who is the true Rock (and it’s not Dwayne Johnson). Put your trust fully in the Lord. The more you grow in your knowledge of the God who is your Rock, the greater your sense of stability and security no matter what happens.
For reflection: Take a few minutes to praise God because he is the Rock. Praise him for being your strength, your fortress, your refuge, and your stronghold. Commit to looking to him for your stability and security as you coach and live.