Faith

As Tim Tebow Undergoes Surgery, He’s a Stellar Example of Grace Through Adversity

The gifted athlete is facing a precarious procedure — and is likely to thank God for his blessings

Image Credit: Screenshot, YouTube

When searching for good role models to set before our kids, we should keep pro athlete and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow at the top of our lists.

Tebow reportedly broke a bone in his right hand last Friday, and he’s expected to have season-ending surgery on Tuesday. This is all happening in the middle of a hot streak for the football-turned-baseball player’s AA baseball team, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, a farm team of the New York Mets.

Though he struggled at the plate earlier in the season, Tebow ended his slump, garnering a spot in the league’s all-star game earlier this month.

Related: Tim Tebow Bats 1,000 Against the Haters

Fans of the New York Mets were eagerly anticipating the Florida native to be called up to the big league, Paul J. Batura said in a piece on Tebow in Fox News.

So what did the 30-year-old post to social media Sunday? A woe-is-me diatribe about bad timing, or a sulking comment along the lines of “maybe next season”?

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No, this is what Tebow shared: “Loving others is not an option. As followers of Jesus, we don’t get to love certain people and not others.”

Sports lovers admire Tebow. “He’s recognized as a special athlete because sports doesn’t define him,” said a dad of three from the Boston area who has often brought up Tebow’s strengths to his own sons. “You always get the idea that he will be fine no matter what, because of his character and his Christian faith. He doesn’t seem to need worldly success, as so many athletes do today.”

Tim Tebow has had to deal with dyslexia, but inspires kids with a positive message on being different, saying, “What it does is just show that learning disabilities, especially dyslexia, have nothing to do with how smart or intelligent someone is. It’s something to share with kids, that ‘Hey, it is not a big deal.'”

The Tebow family lived in Manila until Tim was three (his parents were missionaries), then moved back to their home base in Jacksonville, Florida. When he was five, Tebow’s dad moved the family to a farm, where a young Tim would have to do many chores for long hours. What does he say about the farm — and all that hard work?

“It was such a blessing,” he told the Denver Post in 2012. “We got it at a government auction. It was a great place to have five kids grow up and work. I think that built as much character in us as anything else.”

Tebow was often around adults — he and his four siblings were homeschooled — and even today he reportedly often begins his conversations with people he is just meeting with, “‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘Yes, ma’am’ and ‘No, ma’am,'” noted the Post.

Once, after a fellow player on the Denver Broncos criticized him for thanking Jesus Christ so often during games, Tebow said in response: “If you’re married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife ‘I love her’ the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and [at] every opportunity?”

He added, “That’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ, is that it is the most important thing in my life. So any time I get an opportunity to tell Him that I love Him or [am] given an opportunity to shout Him out on national TV, I’m gonna take that opportunity.”

He also said, “So I look at it as a relationship that I have with Him, that I want to give Him the honor and glory any time I have the opportunity. And then right after I give Him the honor and glory, I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory.”

Now Tebow is facing surgery. “If this hand injury is, in fact, the end of Tebow’s sports career, then let us all pay homage to one of the greatest athletes in the history of the state of Florida,” Mike Bianchi wrote Tuesday in the Orlando Sentinel.

Bianchi ended his article by quoting Tebow’s legendary “Promise Speech” at the University of Florida: “I promise you one thing … You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play … You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody … God bless.”

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