NHL Coach and 2-Time Cancer Survivor Opens Up About Surrendering Life to Jesus, "It Changes Your Life"
Professional sports coaches aren’t usually noted for their humility, but Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen will tell you Jesus changes everything.
One of only 32 National Hockey League head coaches in the world, Larsen has retained his competitive edge, for certain, but now, his life is firmly grounded in faith.
CBN reports on the interview the two-time cancer survivor recently had with CBN’s 700 Club.
When he was asked about whose opinion means the most to him, Coach Larsen provided a surprising answer:
“‘May 22nd, 2011, I gave myself to the Lord! It changes your life and for 30-plus years in my life I had zero faith and I didn’t know who that God was and what that looked like. So, you build your whole life of this, almost a façade of who you are or what you want to represent. And I’m not that man, you know, I don’t want to be that man anymore. So, change is required. To change you have to change.'”
Larsen is a former hockey player and assistant coach.
He’s equally comfortable talking about his life verse, Joshua 1:9, that speaks of the believer’s courage and boldness grounded in faith, as he is extolling the power of humility in life and in hockey.
“”Humility, again, is a word that keeps coming back. Humility means it’s not about you. And in this world now, in this culture now, it’s really hard to take the focus off yourself,” he states, but then brings it back to his players, ‘And there’s a lot getting thrown at them. Individual results, I need them because guys bring certain skill sets, but it’s always about the team!'”
On this topic, Christian Headlines states the coach refers to John 3:30, ESV, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
He views Jesus as the “ultimate warrior” and a “competitor” as evidenced by His work on the cross.
“When I understand what Jesus gave up, what He went through, there’s nobody tougher than Jesus. At any time, He could have brought in the cavalry and made it go away. But He didn’t. It is incredible. When you think about the purpose that Jesus came and did it for. I mean, when you see that kind of love and grace, that grabs your attention!”
Coach Larsen is using his own words and style to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Essentially, the gospel message is that we were created by God, but we chose to rebel against Him and sin entered the world.
God continued to love us, relentlessly. He loved us enough to send His Only Son, Jesus, into the world to live a sinless life, to die on the cross for our sins, and to rise again to eternal life.
As the coach has learned by experience, when we repent of our sins, admit that we cannot save ourselves, and turn our lives over to Jesus, we share in that eternal life. We also experience a freedom from sin and a transformation that changes everything.