By Chad Bonham
At the 2012 London Games, Missy Franklin, age 18, took the swimming community by storm with her dominant performance. She left the Olympics with four gold medals, one bronze medal along with two world records and two American records.
Next up for Franklin was a collegiate career at University of California-Berkeley and plans to continue her international reign with Team USA. As the 2016 Rio Games drew closer, however, she struggled to regain her form in the pool. She was still a world-class swimmer, but not quite at the same level from four years earlier.
About a month before the U.S. Olympic Trials, Franklin expressed hope amid the uncertainty with an Instagram photo of a Bible page upon which she had drawn and colored a mountain with the words “Though the mountain may crumble you will not. Isaiah 54:10.”
Then came an unexpected disappointment. Franklin only qualified for three events and failed to make the American squad in her signature race, the 100-meter backstroke. When asked about her challenges, she referenced an iconic Bible story found in 1 Samuel 17:
“I felt a little bit like David facing Goliath,” Franklin explained to a reporter from The Washington Post. “But I felt like I didn’t have any stones in my pocket.”
Even though she was focused on success in the pool, she also made sure to take time for some inspiration. While preparing in Rio, Frankln was pictured in a photo that U.S. Women’s Swimming coach Dave Marsh tweeted along with several teammates following a Bible study with Atlanta-based pastor and best-selling author Louie Giglio.
Franklin’s first two performances didn’t go as planned. She shockingly missed both finals in the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter backstroke. Franklin stayed positive, however and ended her medal drought as a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay team that won gold.
Three days later, she posted a photo on Twitter with the medal laid across her Bible next to Proverbs 3 and a caption to indicate how that passage was lifting her spirits and keeping her focused on the future:
“Trusting in the LORD that something BEAUTIFUL will come out of this, and that I will come back stronger than ever!”
This devotional is brought to you by Museum of the Bible, a 430,000 square foot museum being constructed 3 blocks south of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. and is set to open in November of 2017.
(Photo: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC)