(CNSNews.com) - Adrian Peterson, the number one rusher in the 2012 NFL regular season and the Minnesota Vikings’ all-time leading rusher, said that when he received an injury to his ACL and MCL, he wondered how he would get through it but was comforted by the Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
After his injury on Christmas Eve in 2011, Peterson’s father went to the locker room to talk to him. “And I remember telling him, ‘You know what? This is a blessing in disguise. I’m going to 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.’ You know, and that right there was enough for me,” Peterson said, referring to Philippians 4:13.
During the game, Peterson knew something was wrong when he first got hit. “I felt three pops in my left knee. And I just remembered going down in so much pain, and my first initial thought was like ‘Why? Why? Why? Why? Why me? Why me? Why me?’ I knew my ACL was gone,” he said in an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on Dec. 24, 2012.
“How am I going to bounce back from this? You know, so many different thoughts went through my mind at once,” he continued, explaining his reaction to the injury he received. Peterson also tore his MCL that day.
Peterson told his father that his injury was a “blessing in disguise.”
“I was able just to grab those thoughts and get rid of them, and my dad he came down from the stands and came into the locker room to talk to me. And I remember telling him, ‘You know what? This is a blessing in disguise. I’m going to 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.’ You know, and that right there was enough for me,” Peterson referring to Philippians 4:13.
There were many moments after his injury where Peterson felt “down” spiritually, physically, and mentally.
“So many different times through the rehab where you know I was down, just spiritually, just my body, mentally, things that I had to do – whether it was different exercises, as far as strengthening my leg that was painful, that I just didn’t want to endure at the time,” he said.
“You know but you know you have those thoughts that go through your head. You got the devil – he’s out. He’s got those darts,” he continued, referring to the darts mentioned in Ephesians 6:16.
“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. But without him during this recovery, I had no chance,” Peterson said, adding that the Bible verse helped him endure rehab, because it’s a principle he used his entire life.
At the age of seven, Peterson saw his older brother killed while they were riding their bikes. “I lost my brother at a young age, seeing him get hit by a car right in front of me,” he said. “I had to be strong for my mom, held my tears and held her and comfort her during that time. And God just helped me get through that and made me stronger at a young age.”
Peterson said God has “always been present” in his life, and he’s always “prayed for the strength to endure and to help others and to better understand this situation or whatever situation it is that I deal with in my personal life, and he has always showed up.”
The Vikings lost their wildcard playoff game to the Green Bay Packers, but Peterson is currently ranked fourth in post-season running yards. Peterson was able to play the Viking’s first regular season game and went on to become the seventh running back to run for 2,000 yards in a season, coming short of the all-time rushing record by just nine yards.