Christian NFL player Benjamin Watson says even though he's devastated that he'll have to miss his entire first season with the Baltimore Ravens due to an injury, he knows God has something up His sleeve.
Watson, a veteran tight end and a devout Christian author, tore his Achilles tendon on the first offensive play during the Ravens' third preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 27.
As the tear of the Achilles takes about four months to a year to completely heal enough for athletic competition, the 35-year-old Watson was placed on the injured reserve list and will be sidelined for the whole 2016 season.
"I'm disappointed, I'm sad, and I'm frustrated, but I do know that God knows what's going on, He's got a plan. This is not a surprise to Him," Watson, who is in his 13th season in the NFL, wrote in an op-ed titled "Comfort Amidst Disappointment" published by The Increase Football on Monday.
Watson explained that when professional athletes get injured, it can be hard emotionally because their jobs and livelihoods are based on performance. When taking into account that this season is Watson's first as a member of the Ravens and required him to move across the country, he wrote that the injury has really been "devastating" and he keeps hoping he will "wake up from a really bad dream."
However, Watson was able to take comfort in the support that he has received from his fans through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, and from the support of his wife and children.
"God has a plan in all of this. Like I mentioned, nothing is a surprise to Him and I trust that He's in control," Watson wrote. "Sometimes you need to grieve and let out your frustration so that God can then come and comfort you. It's in these moments that I experience God's faithfulness and mercy. I've trusted Him to bring me this far, I need to continue to trust that He knows what's going on."
Watson then cited Exodus 15:2.
"The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation," Watson quoted. "He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him."
Watson said he prays that his injury will be used to not only pull him closer to God, but others as well.
"I pray that He reveals His plan to me and continues to bring encouragement to me during this time," Watson added. "I don't want to be selfish because of this injury, instead I want to glorify Him in this time. If someone is able to be encouraged, or even come to know Jesus because of my injury, praise God. I don't know what will come of it but I do know that all things work out for good. The good is not always what we would choose, but it is the best for bringing glory to God as well as developing us as faithful followers of Him."
Just as he did on Twitter the day he was injured, Watson again quoted Romans 8:28, which states that "we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
Although Watson might not be able to get to know his knew Ravens teammates as an active member of the team, he explained that when he is finally able to get up and mobile again, he and his wife plan to lead a Bible study for his teammates.
"And maybe that reason alone is why we are where are we this year," Watson reasoned.