In the August of 2014, Dr. Kent Brantly became the first person on American soil with the Ebola virus, and the first to survive. When the medical missionary first recognized his symptoms in July, he went in isolation in his home. While lying alone in Liberia with the disease he had never seen anyone survive, Brantly called out to God in a way that reflected his faith. He later recounted, “I prayed that God would help me be faithful even in my illness, and that in my life or death, He would be glorified.” Hebrews 11:6 states, “it is impossible to please God without faith” and that’s the kind of faith that brings God pleasure.
In the 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner gave a performance for the ages. The MVP was virtually un-hittable in the three games he pitched as he notched 2 wins and 1 save. Commentators excitedly spoke of history being made and how sports fans may never see such a spectacular feat. After all of the confetti had fallen and the decibels had quieted, this soft spoken pitcher put things in perspective. He said, “The biggest thing I want people to know about me is that I’m a believer, that I’m a Christian, not just a baseball player.” When later asked what Jesus means to him, the San Francisco Giants star replied, “Everything! He’s my Savior. I live for Him … I don’t want to live for myself, I want to live for Him.” Faith doesn’t guarantee stellar success in our respective jobs or lives, but it does position us to be our very best. Too many people fear sold-out commitment to Christ will make them ineffective in the world, but Madison Bumgarner has demonstrated just the opposite.