Finding the Missing Piece


Triathlete Hunter Kemper discovered he had become a slave to his sport. Today, he uses his sport to honor Christ and makes following Him a priority.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

Triathlete Hunter Kemper and his family attended church regularly until commitments to sports made it impossible for church to be a priority.

“I found myself always traveling to sporting events on the weekends,” he says. “Eventually I didn’t find the time to go to church.”

While in college, Hunter began to sense that something was absent from his life. Unable to identify the “missing piece,” he found himself drawn to friends who called themselves Christians. Something about the way they lived their lives was compelling and attractive.

It wasn’t until Hunter graduated from college and moved to the Olympic Training Center that Hunter realized what was missing from his life

He began to attend church with friends from the Training Center. Each Sunday he would hear about God’s love for him, and that God wanted to have a relationship with him.

Hunter discovered the reason he had been feeling empty and unsatisfied with his life.

“I was a slave to my sport of triathlon,” he says. “I was fighting against the belief that there was some act or deed that I could do in order to earn God’s forgiveness.”

One Sunday after church, the truth of the gospel sank into Hunter’s heart. He could see that there was nothing he could do to earn God’s love and forgiveness, but that God offers His love and forgiveness freely through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

“I knelt down before Him in the bedroom of my rental home and confessed to Him that I could no longer do it on my own,” he remembers. “I cried a lot that day; not because I was sad, but because I felt free.”

Hunter now seeks to use his sport to honor Christ, and he makes following Christ a priority with his wife and sons.

No matter what distractions fight for his attentions or what demands his sport places on his body, Hunter believes that his real strength comes from God.

“On the days when I don’t think I can run another mile, or when I don’t think I’m able to cross the finish line, I always remember that God does not grow tired or weary,” he says. “Anything is possible with God.”

Questions: How are you depending on yourself instead of God’s strength? What are you making a priority over following Jesus?

Prayer: Lord, remind me that I can do nothing apart from You. Though I may stumble and grow tired, You do not. Help me to rely on Your strength instead of my own. I want to make honoring You the priority of my life.

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