A few years after the number one movie, War Room, the Kendrick Brothers returned to the big screen with another! The movie Overcomer is about finding your identity in Christ and its powerful influence on our daily lives.
The first thing that comes to mind when asked about who you are is likely your profession. This is how culture has subconsciously trained you to think as a result.
Imagine if your profession was taken away from you today and everything else you hold dear. How would you respond to that situation? Hopefully you wouldn’t be devastated though it would be natural to be disappointed by the setback.
Some people in that position take their own lives because they have put their value in things. They lose their jobs, homes, cars, etc. and feel that’s the end of their life and choose to end it themselves.
It’s worse in younger people who put their value on how many people like them on social media. It’s a sad reality but true.
What the movie Overcomer does is remind you that your identity is not in what the world says about you. Your identity is found and hidden in Jesus Christ and that alone is enough. He has a great plan for your life.
The movie has a great cast including some newcomers that did a phenomenal job on set. Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer and Ben Davies are some of the actors from previous Kendrick Brothers films. The newcomers in this film include Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, Aryn Wright-Thompson and Denise Armstrong.
Alex Kendrick plays the role of John Harrison, a high school basketball coach and history teacher at Brookshire Christian Academy. His wife Amy Harrison (Shari Rigby) also teaches at the school whose principal is Olivia Brooks played by Priscilla Shirer.
Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson) is recently enrolled into the school and lives with her grandmother Barbara Scott who works three jobs. As the movie begins it may seem a little hard to follow but it was done that way for a purpose. All the characters are dealing with different things in their lives and hoping for a better future.
John Harrison whose team has just missed out on a championship is looking forward to a winning season the following year. Most of his top players will be coming back while those of their biggest rivals will be leaving.
Barbara Scott works hard and hopes that Hannah gets serious about her life after she was thrown out of her previous schools. Hannah herself grew up not knowing any of her parents whom she was told were both dead. She feels unloved and that her life is meaningless.
Struggling with meaning
Life changes all of a sudden when one of the town’s biggest manufacturing plants closes down. For John Harrison it means most of his players’ parents are leaving along with the hopes of a championship season. For Olivia Brooks it’s a challenge of keeping the school alive as the school loses more students.
The school is forced to cut staff salaries, rearrange roles which includes appointing John Harrison the cross-country coach. This is in addition to all the other responsibilities he has already. What’s worse he doesn’t like running and feels like it’s a waste of time and not a real sport.
Even funnier is that only one person signs up for the sport and is forced to coach her. That person turns out to be Hannah Scott who’s having her own troubles and turns out to be asthmatic. As a result of his frustrations it hurts his marriage even though he loves his wife dearly.
John also gets concerned he may not be able to take his son through to college without a scholarship. It’s a tough place for him to be. Hannah on the other hand feels like running is the only thing she’s good at though her life is a mess. Olivia Brooks does her best to encourage her as well having known her mother years earlier.
Finding identity in Christ
Sometimes things happen unexpectedly yet they turn out to be the turning point in our lives. On a hospital visit that he was volunteered by his wife, John has a chance meeting with a random patient. Thomas Hill (Cameron Arnett) is bed ridden with diabetes which has taken his eye-sight and he develops a relationship with John.
In casual conversation John shares about the struggles he’s been facing since the towns plant shut down. It also turns out that Thomas was a cross country runner in his younger years; John then sees it as an opportunity to get some coaching tips from Thomas since he’s new to the sport.
When virtually all of John’s basketball players have left town he expresses his frustration to Thomas on his next visit. Thomas who himself had a difficult past challenges John about his faith after his meltdown. He narrates to John how he had to experience certain things to realize that his real value lay in Jesus.
John then realizes that he has put his faith in all the wrong things but appreciates the wakeup call. At this point John has worked with Hannah for some time and knows her background. As Thomas opens up to John about his own dark past he makes a shocking discovery about Thomas’ life.
A glorious ending
The same challenge Thomas posed to John about his identity is the same one he poses to Hannah. After all that was taken away from John he finally realizes what God requires of him to do. The assignment turns out to be far greater and would be more fulfilling than having a championship season.
John gets his life in order and works with purpose as he helps Hannah become a better runner. He has a chance to help her win the state championship but more importantly to fulfil a heavenly mission. At the same time he works on a plan to help Thomas reconcile with his past knowing his regrets. Olivia has a heart to heart moment with Hannah whom she eventually leads to the Lord.
It’s a storyline that you wouldn’t predict and will have you in tears at certain points mainly towards the end. This is a story of finding your identity in Christ, redemption, hope and the love that God has for his children.
It’s amazing how you can relate to each of the characters on one level or another. When you find your identity in Christ it will change your whole perspective about life.
Overcomer is one of those movies that you’ll want to watch over and over again. Be sure to take your family and anyone you know. It’s a great evangelism tool to reach out to the lost.