The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


The Faith of NFL Star Adrian Peterson

By Tom Buehring
The 700 Club Adrian Peterson is the NFL’s premier running back; a rushing wonder with speed and power. He’s the Minnesota Vikings’ all-time leading rusher; a 4-time Pro Bowl front runner and one of the league’s most marketable players. His success is carried by tireless determination. They call him A-D, because he brings it All Day.

“I work hard. I grind hard during the offseason.”

No harder than this past off-season, when Adrian had to rescue his career. Last Christmas Eve in the Vikings final game of the season – he took a tackle that tore the ligaments in his knee. “Immediately when I took the hit, I knew something was wrong. I felt three pops in my left knee. I just remember going down in so much pain, my first initial thought was, ‘Why? Why? Why? Why? You know, ‘Why me?’ I knew my ACL was gone.”

So was his MCL. (These) two tears are a professional athlete’s worst fear. The injury is painful. The rehab is grueling. And a full recovery is seldom certain.

“How am I going to bounce back from this? So many different thoughts went through my mind at once.”

But the despair didn’t last long. “I was able to grab those thoughts and get rid of them. My dad, he came down from the stands and came into the locker room to talk to me and I remember telling him, ‘This is a blessing in disguise. I’ll come back stronger and better than I was before.’
What flashed in my mind was, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ and that right there was enough for me.”

Surgery was one week later on January 1st. A tedious 8-month recovery period followed. Adrian continued rehab during training camp and didn’t play during the pre-season. His return came ahead of schedule. He stepped back on the field for the Vikings first game this season. A comeback called ‘unprecedented’ and ‘miraculous.’

Tom Buehring, 700 Club Sports Reporter: “Can you give us an example, in the recovery where have you seen Him companion you through this?”

“So many different times through the rehab where I was down spiritually and just my body, mentally, things I had to do. There were different exercises to strengthen my leg that was painful that I didn’t want to endure at the time. But you know you have those thoughts that go through your head. You got the devil and he’s got those darts. So you can choose to bite on those or you can choose to block them out. Just listen to the thoughts that God put in there.”

“Without Him, doing this recovery, I had no chance – at all! No chance to do this on my own. He kept my mind at ease, doing the rehab. For me, because I’ve used this principle my whole life, it was so easy to buy into it and know; put this in God’s hand, have faith; that simple process, your principles that you have, having faith and believing.”

Adrian had to (believe). He was forced to grow up fast and strong. When he was 7, his older brother was killed while the two were riding their bikes. His father was in prison on a drug charge while Adrian went through junior high and high school. He then left home in Texas to play at Oklahoma where he became an All-American. His faith has seen him through. 

Tom:  “What has Jesus Christ done for you? What does He mean to you? Tell me about that relationship you have with Him.”

“Jesus Christ – He means the world to me. So many different situations I’ve been through, through my childhood and now my adulthood; I lost my brother at a young age. He got hit by a car right in front of me. I had to be strong for my mom. (I) held my tears and held her and comforted her during that time. God just helped me get through that and made me stronger at a young age.”

Enough strength to reach the heights of NFL achievement in just 6 years!

“(Through) all the adversity and the hard times I’ve been through, God has always been present. I’ve always prayed to Him and asked Him to give me the strength to endure and to help others and to better understand the situation, or whatever situation I deal with in my personal life. And He has always showed up!”

And He does again on a night we celebrate the coming of a Savior. For Adrian, last Christmas Eve’s injury has only prepared him for the anticipated promise of what’s ahead. And for now, that’s Christmas!

“It brings hope and peace of mind knowing that God gave His only begotten Son for us. I’m able to look back and know that on this day Jesus was born and gave us the opportunity to have eternal life. No matter how many flaws we have, our God is so forgiving and understanding. He’ll never leave you or forsake you. So that brings peace to me.”

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