2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” NIV
23 yr old Naomi Osaka is a 4 time Grand Slam singles champion and the 1st Japanese to win Grand Slam title in 2018. However, the win over her battles with anxiety and depression had knocked her off her game. On May 30 2021, she excluded herself from the French Open and subsequently Wimbledon. She refused to answer post game questions in a typical news conference and was subsequently fined $15000. Losing the tournaments was no match for her personal win in prioritizing her mental health. Other athletes have shown support and relativity and are joining the growing trend of those who opt to choose their own media platforms which to give their voices to.
Osaka may be shy to speak but her stances speak loudly. She continually gave manifesto on Black Lives Matter, during the 2020 US open by wearing different names of deceased Blacks on who were killed and shown little/no justice in this country due to racial violence. Additionally, after Haiti’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Osaka gave all the prize money from her Western and Southern Open tournament to their relief efforts. She tweeted, “Really hurts to see al the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break”
Currently, Osaka who since younger has admired and given homage to sheroes Venus and Serena Willliams, is playing in the 2020 US Open. Forsaking her US citizenship, Naomi became the 1st Japanese tennis player to carry the torch during the opening ceremony and Playing in allegiance to Japan her mother’s motherland. Now in returning to US Open being held in her hometown Queens, she has been quoted as “feeling good” and “confident”. Winning the 1st round in defense of her title, Osaka is in all definitions a conquering victor!
Concern (C): Sister, what matters block you from peace? So many things in this world, Christ says, will try to take away your peace and tranquility. So get a grip its a fact. As a Christian expect challenges. Don’t lose faith in God and throw away all of your rich confidence. No! Face each concern as it arises, plan ahead but stay in the present. For the Bible says in Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow , for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Encouragement (E}: Don’t let anything trouble your heart. John 14:27, Jesus says himself “ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Sister, we need to believe Jesus, it is not only what he says it is what he did too. The one notable time Christ was greatly sorrowful was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Then he prayed. All the other times he demonstrated a quiet and strong trust in his Father. Be childlike in this, keep the formula simple. Trust and Pray.
Act (A): Feeling distressed? Col 3:15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful”. Memorize every scripture on peace, as your arsenal to fight against Satanic psychological, emotional attacks. The enemy these days is working a lot on the inside. Don’t let him rule Let God who loves you as his child fight him for you-and you be calm, still giving constant thanks for every win!
Naomi Osaka’s next game is Wednesday, Sept 1, 2021. Check her out and let’s show her love and support!
**Dedicated to Olympians and our sports heroes and sheroes representing the land they love and the God they serve. Special shout out to Sydney McLaughlin, Alia Atkinson, Daniel Rowden, Kelsey Plum, Knott Kristina and Deron Williams giving it all with all their hearts.