The Lord tells us in John 15:5 “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Gabby Douglas knows this. Douglas tweeted, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me”. Her deep understanding of her capabilities and weaknesses is only by the grace of God.
It was the grace of the Holy Spirit working in her, while watching the 2008 Beijing Olympics, that gave her heart the desire to be trained by Liang Chow.
She knew this decision would either help or hinder her success. She wanted to be trained by the best, to be the best gymnast and to develop as a human being. But to develop spiritually, she meditates on scriptures. It’s one thing to listen to and act upon the advice of your mother, sibling, or coach, it’s a totally different dynamic to listen to and follow your spirit.
Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, was quoted as saying, “What kind of mother does something like that?” referring to letting Gabby go to West Des Moines, Iowa. The need to put life’s moments in some logical order is a product of the human mind. It’s a mind that can’t quite grasp spiritual reasoning. God gives grace to souls of ALL socioeconomic classes.
He’ll bless a child whose mother recently filed for bankruptcy, knowing he’ll get the Glory in the end. So Ms. Hawkins let Gabby live miles away with the Parton family in Iowa. Missy Parton and Natalie Hawkins have the same beliefs. In order for God to get the Glory, the Parton’s had to welcome Gabby (Romans 15:7), and in their own words, “They just clicked”. It was all part of His plan. When God is in the center, everything runs smoothly.
Douglas is the first African-American to win gold in the individual all-around competition. Talk shows and endorsement opportunities await this new young talent. There are sure to be books written about her. And she’s already earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
But because of her faith, belief, and willingness to give God the Glory for her success, she will be written in the Book of Life. The Book of Life is worth more than a gold metal (Proverbs 8:10). She could not earn a place in the Book of Life no matter how hard she trained. She could only have received it as a gift because of her obedience. 1 John 5:13 says, “I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life”. The key word in this passage is “know”.
Humility comes easiest when our own excellence is overshadowed by our love and appreciation of His excellence. Gabby’s story gives us much to learn about grace and the spiritual life, one of which is that we should want God’s goodness to be recognized before our own.
Congratulations Gabby Douglas! To God be the Glory!!