Josh Bidwell, Green Bay Packers

by Doug Greengard

Josh Bidwell

Josh Bidwell of the Green Bay Packers knows what it is like to face heavy pressure. Beyond making sure he beats the opponent's oncoming rush when they try to block his punts, Bidwell knows what it is like when the enemy comes against you with great force in real life. In 1999, just before the start of his first National Football League season, Bidwell was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His battle was more than simply winning or losing a game; it was life or death. "I liken my story to when Jesus was walking on the water (Matthew 14:29) and He called Peter out," said the former University of Oregon standout. "Peter took a step over and as long as his eyes were on Jesus he was fine. But as soon as he noticed what was going on around him, he began to sink. The great thing about this story, though, is as soon as Peter started to panic he looked back at Jesus for His help and He was standing there the whole time with His hands out. I knew God was going to pull me out."

Bidwell returned to the Packers in 2000 and regained his position as the team's punter. That season he led the league in downed punts. In 2001, the former fourth round draft choice ranked third in the NFC in net punting average. "God's word has given me such encouragement," said Bidwell, who asked Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of his life when he was a sophomore in high school. "He's given me an amazing platform for ministry. Not just because I'm an NFL player but because I can relate to a lot of scars people have in their lives, whether physical or emotional."

Since being healed of cancer, Bidwell has taught high school health classes in Oregon to help raise awareness about the disease that tried to take his life. More importantly, the 6-3, 220 pound Bidwell is always looking for opportunities to share on his favorite topic: Jesus. "My Bible studies have been going great and I'm so excited to share with people what I'm learning but sometimes I forget to share my personal testimony," added Bidwell. It's been a lot of fun. God is great."

Bidwell knows that first hand. Especially when real life makes you drop back and punt.

Doug Greengard is the host/producer of the Christian Sports Minute, a radio feature airing on 334 stations in North America. Visit the website at

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