Frank Reich is well known for his incredible comebacks from obstacles and failures. Twice during his career he led his team to victory in the face of insurmountable odds through sheer determination and inspiring boldness.
After backing up well-known quarterback Boomer Esiason for three years, Frank Reich became a starter for the University of Maryland. His hard work and patience had paid off, and he was eager to make the most of the opportunity. But when he got injured in the fourth game of his senior season, the chance to play professional football seemed lost. Profoundly disappointed and confused, Frank wondered about God's plan for his life.
Then, in a game against the Miami Hurricanes, Frank Reich came off the bench to play a key role in the high point of the season. Down by a daunting 31 to 0, Frank entered the game, directed Maryland's first points and led the team to a remarkable 42-40 victory. Reflecting on the entire season, Frank began to recognize how God was building and refining his character.
He could not have known that history would repeat itself eight years later. Frank started for the Buffalo Bills in the playoff game against the Houston Oilers, where the losing team would be eliminated from the race to the Super Bowl. Stunned as the Oilers charged to a 35-3 lead, Frank looked to stop their stampede one play at a time. Although no team had ever won after being down by 32 points, when the Bills scored two quick touchdowns in the third quarter, Frank recalled his college comeback. Buffalo captured the lead in the final minutes of overtime and won 41 to 38, an NFL comeback record that still stands today.
After that dramatic victory, Frank Reich took his faith from the field to the locker room where he delivered a powerful message to an unusually responsive media. While each camera continued to roll, he gave God the glory for his part in this historic win.
Less than a month later, the Bills made it to the Super Bowl XXVII. In the second quarter, starting quarterback Jim Kelly had to leave the game due to injury. Frank came in, buoyed by his confidence that God would hand them a victory. If they won, Frank would have the world's attention to again honor his heavenly Father. But God had other plans. The Buffalo Bills lost 52 to 17, on of the most lopsided Super Bowls of all time.
Frank Reich had gone from the highest mountaintop to the deepest valley in three weeks. But in that painful journey, he still discovered victory, not victory on the field, but victory over disappointment and devastation. It's a life-changing lesson he embraces today, saying, "Whatever happens in our life, defeat in a championship, loss of a job, death of a loved one, these are overwhelming circumstances that can cause deep despair. But Christ is our hope. Christ is our strength. He is how we can get through difficult times."
Recognizing now that God will get the glory whether he himself wins or loses, Frank played every game with 100 percent effort and trusted God with the results. He applies the same principle to his family. Continually reminded of his commitments and privileges as a husband and father, Frank humbly realizes that he has one place to go for strength and wisdom, his knees. In Super Bowl as well as in day-to-day responsibilities, he says, "God is in control, working things out for our good and His glory."
As a speaker, Frank draws from his extraordinary experiences to encourage anyone who faces adversity. His inspiring story demonstrates how Jesus is the only hope, especially when faced with inevitable hardship. Just as God helped Frank come back from tremendous odds one play at a time, He helps His children rise above their circumstances one step at a time. With sincerity and conviction, Frank shows audiences of every age and background that there is powerful promise in victory as well as in loss.