Heisman Trophy Winner Discovers God's Glory Beyond the Football Field

Danny Wuerffel (Wikipedia)

A Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida in the 1990s, Danny Wuerffel believed one day he would look back and reflect upon the glory of a great career in the National Football League. And though he played a handful of seasons at football's highest level, he didn't reach the level of success he anticipated.

But God had other plans for Wuerffel—kingdom plans for His glory—that the former quarterback never envisioned.

Upon his retirement from the NFL in 2004, God directed Wuerffel to Desire Street Ministries, an organization in Atlanta, Georgia, dedicated to revitalizing under-sourced neighborhoods throughout the Southeast. In 2006, Wuerrffel became executive director of the organization, which believes when ministry leaders thrive, they can reach hundreds of kids and families with the gospel of Christ.

"Sometimes we become so centered in our own experiences, but God is always doing something new," says Wuerrffel, the keynote speaker at the Seminole County Prayer Breakfast Friday in Altamonte Springs, Florida. "The question is, are we open for what God has for us? What is it that's happening in your life that God sees differently than you do?

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"You have to train yourself to see more than what's obvious, what is normal. Like it says in 2 Corinthians [4:18], we need to fix our eyes on what is unseen instead of the things which are seen. Those are the things that are eternal."

In 2011, God walked Wuerffel through the unexpected. Without warning, he suddenly contracted Guillian-Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system—the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. He has since recovered from the disease.

Two years later, in 2013, a fully recovered Wuerffel was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

But it's his work with Desire Street Ministries that has brought him the most satisfaction in his storied life.

"What you have to realize is that your life is not all about you. You are a supporting character in the greatest story ever told, and that's the redemption we have through Jesus' suffering on the cross," Wuerrffel says. "We cannot do this on our own. It's not us who is really making a difference, it's God. And it's all for God's glory anyway."

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