UNPACK this

The Every Down Running Back

Published on June 14, 2017 | By

The Miami Dolphins surprised us all by making the NFL playoffs last year. One of the main reasons they turned things around was the emergence of running back Jay Ajayi. 

Rushing over 200 yards in three different games, Ajayi ranked 4th in the NFL with a total of 1,272 yards. Heading into the new season, he is preparing for a strong follow-up year - hoping to prove he’s an elite running back. 

His head coach, Adam Gase, recently said this about him to the Miami Herald: 

“He wants to be a guy that can be counted on for second and third down. He does not want to come off the field. Everyone gets concerned with the amount of carries and his physical style of running and we’ll handle that as we go. But I love the mentality that he has right now.

"He wants to be a guy that’s relied on right now. He’s our bell cow running back. At the same time he’s our top third-down guy and red area and two-minute guy. He wants to be the guy that no matter what the situation is we’ll have him in the game.” 

Very few running backs remain in the game for every down in today’s NFL, as many teams use the running back by committee strategy. However, it’s extremely valuable when a team can fully rely on one player to carry them, regardless of the scenario the offense faces. 

I think the line by Gase, “He wants to be the guy that no matter what the situation is we’ll have him in the game,” is a perspective we can identify with as followers of Jesus.

In our journey of life, we will go through many trying and challenging situations. Thankfully, we have a “guy” we can trust and depend on...no matter what. Whether we feel like we’re in the redzone or find ourselves up against a difficult third and long, we can continue to turn to Jesus. Instead of sticking with Him every once in awhile, we can stick with him on every “down.” 

Jesus is inviting us to be with Him always. There is no need to look to the sideline for someone else to replace Him. 

He tells us in John 15:4-5 (NLT), "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.

 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing." 

Today, let’s find tremendous joy, peace, and comfort in knowing we can fully rely on Jesus to remain in us as we remain in Him. There will never be another substitute worthy enough, so let’s remember that “He wants to be a guy that’s relied on right now.”

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you so much for sending Jesus to be my Savior. Please help me to abide in Him and produce great fruit. I’m thankful to know He’s worthy to trust and rely on in any and every situation. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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