A student athlete shares reflections from a recent basketball tournament.

When Gideon fought with 300 men he was nervous. He was scared. He doubted his Source of strength. He doubted his men. He doubted himself. But he won the battle.

WHAT? Did I miss something?

My basketball team and I were headed to Andrews University in Michigan for the annual basketball tournament and I was nervous. The whole way there I was pessimistic; I just didn’t tell anyone. I thought we would do terrible in the tournament.

We were a seven-man team going up against teams as big as our entire school. Their athletes were large, strong and smart. My teammates thought we would smash our opponents; I thought we would BE smashed by our opponents.

As the tournament progressed I grew tired. The team was tired. Two games per day drained our bodies. We even had a basketball game at 8 am! But we kept fighting. The guys on my team are “ballers.” They understand the game and they play as if they were NBA Hall of Fame athletes. Okay, maybe not quite that good, but they’re very good. My team and I fought our hearts out for two days and always made it to the next level. And then it happened. Our seven-man team made it to the championship game!

My friend, Frank, happened to be in the bathroom when who should gather in the locker room but our opponents to talk about the game they would soon play against us. Frank heard their coach say something like, “Hey guys, once we win the game don’t get cocky. Be nice and humble.” That coach believed he would win the game. The team believed they would win. But they did not truly prepare for the win.

Gideon’s Midianite opponents in Judges 7 didn’t even prepare for their battle. The leaders believed they would win the battle. The soldiers believed they would win. Yet they didn’t prepare for the win.

But Gideon was ready. And the Twin Cities Hornets, the seven-person team, was ready. Like Gideon, we had our eyes on the prize and remained humble. And the results were awesome!

What about you? Are you prepared for the win? Are you rooted in Jesus—His fundamentals of love and humility? Are your eyes set on the kingdom of heaven?

Abner Campos (pictured on left) is a member of the Brooklyn Center Hispanic Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.