I recently completed Tim Tebow’s Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms. Admittedly, I tend to shy away from books written by “celebrity Christians” or books coauthored for high-profile figures like Tebow. In light of these reservations, I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book.
The Fruit of Mr. and Mrs. Tebow
Shaken is a much-needed biopic of a Christian man seeking to love God and love others. One of the most encouraging aspects of this book is Tebow’s steadfast faith through both trials and victories.
Keep in mind the author’s life is certainly not an ordinary one. Born to missionary parents in the Philippines, Tebow’s mother was advised to abort “the tumor” inside of her, endangering her life. Trusting God, Mrs. Tebow gave birth to Tim shortly after. Taking to sports at a young age, Tebow’s father welded weightlifting equipment for his son to use. Since his childhood, Tebow’s parents have always prayed, encouraged, and taught their children to love the Lord with their entire beings. The fruit of Mr. and Mrs. Tebow’s commitment to God is evident in their children also living out their faith as professional athletes, missionaries, and working professionals.
The fruit of Tim Tebow’s personal faith is evidenced in his foundation‘s work. It is also apparent in his obedience to praise God for both the blessings and storms of life. Tebow has certainly experienced both. He is a Heishman trophy winner who has also been cut from four NFL teams. In light of these personal trials, Tebow maintains an eternal perspective. Instead of sulking in defeat or questioning God’s plan for his life, Tim continues to encourage and share his faith with those who are experiencing their own personal trials. This is not to say Tebow has not experienced seasons of doubt, but his faith has remained unshaken.
A Divine Appointment
One of my favorite aspects of Shaken includes hearing multiple stories of Tim and his family sharing their faith. One visit included witnessing to prisoners at the Florida State Prison. Prison visits included convicts, death-row inmates, and even suicide watch detainees. Tebow recounts how one visit answered the prayer of a man on suicide watch. This convicted murderer had prayed to God for both the first and last time before setting his mind on suicide. Five minutes later Tebow and his brothers arrived to share the love of God. The man sobbed from the other side of the plexiglass door before trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. A divine appointment from God was kept by Tebow and his brothers on that day.
Tim Tebow & John 3:16
In chapter eight, Tebow shares the conviction he has to be different because of his faith. As a college football player, Tebow began personalizing his eye-black. Other football players would write their area codes, but Tim began writing Bible verses. After writing Philippians 4:13 for the majority of the season, he decided to switch the verse to John 3:16 before the national championship game. After Florida won the game that night, a call came into Coach Meyer’s phone. Celebrating the victory at the dinner table, Coach Meyer informed Tebow and his family that over ninety-four million people googled “John 3:16” that night.
Three years later, Tebow was playing for the Broncos. NFL rules forbade any personalized messages on eye blacks but “the John 3:16 theme continued” (pg. 155). The Broncos were playing the Steelers, and defeated their heavily favored opponent 29-23. Afterward, Tebow was informed that three years ago he wore the John 3:16 eyeblack. During his game against the Steelers three years later, Tebow threw for 316 yards. His yards per completion were 31.6. Denver had lost their last three games by an average of sixteen points. The only interception of the game was by Ben Roethlisberger on third down and sixteen yards to go. Pittsburgh’s time of possession was thirty-one minutes and six seconds. The ratings for the night were 31.6 million and during the game over ninety million people googled John 3:16. Afterward, ESPN Senior Writer Adam Schefter confirmed the results of the game.
Without question, God has proven faithful to Tebow because Tim has proven faithful to the creator. Shaken is titled after Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Continually setting the Lord before us is the main thrust of Tebow’s life and his book Shaken. When we remember that God is at hand and faithful, despite the storm, we will not be shaken.