One of my family’s favorite feature films is a movie called, “Facing the Giants,” produced and directed by Alex Kendrick and his brother, Stephen. It tells the story of a high school football team known as the Shiloh Eagles and their coach, who pray and work their way to a championship against a much larger and fiercer team, one that happens to play dirty as well.
The coach has not had a winning season in quite some time and few parents and others are secretly trying to take his job away. He also has some personal issues going on as he and his wife are facing infertility problems. The two ultimately decide to surrender their lives to Christ, even if it means God never blesses them with children. At the same time, the husband/coach determines to make Christ the focus of all that he does, on and off the football field. This post contains a few spoilers, so if you plan on watching the movie for the first time, you might want to do so first, before reading the rest of this article. You can come back later.
The high school coach presents this faith-based idea to his players and encourages them to seek personal relationships with Jesus Christ. Viewers are treated to an exciting climatic event, when the underdog team rises to victory in spite all odds against them and the man and his wife learn they are expecting a child.
It’s a family-friendly movie (aside from several scenes involving the fertility issue, where parental discretion is advised) that drives home the idea that with God, all things are possible, and those who trust in Him will not be forsaken.
The film does not suggest that people who profess belief in God will never suffer. To the contrary, it emphasizes that suffering often accompanies faith, but God does not leave us to face our trials alone; rather, He is always there to guide us and carry us through, no matter how heavy a burden we bear.
One of the most moving scenes in the film shows the husband asking the wife if she will still love God even if He never blesses them with children. Her answer does not come immediately; however, once her tears and pain has subsided, she affirms her faith and testifies to her husband that she will indeed love God, no matter what, even if she never conceives a child.
In real life, another Eagles team, this one from Philadelphia who happens to play in the NFL, took the same approach to their 2018 season. They actually held Bible studies and prayer meetings in their locker room on a daily basis. They, as a team, elected to place God first in their personal and professional lives and to do all for His glory on and off the field.
The unabashedly shared their faith with the media, fans, and anyone who would listen. They also became Super Bowl LII champions, defeating the New England Patriots, 41-33. It was the first Super Bowl victory in the team’s history, and what was the first thing they did after the game?
They gave public thanks and glory to God!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.