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Stabbed 11 Times

Thursday, May 21, 2020

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“Nothing reflects so much honor on a workman as a protracted and severe trial of his work and his triumphant endurance of the ordeal without giving in or giving up.” – C.H. Spurgeon

In yesterday’s devotional, I used two former NBA stars to illustrate a spiritual truth. Paul Pierce was one and Allen Iverson was the other.

To their credit, both men overcame serious obstacles not only to make it to the NBA, but also to last for as many seasons as they did. Iverson is already enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Pierce is guaranteed admission as well when he becomes eligible in 2021.

On September 25, 2000, Pierce was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back and had a bottle broken over his head while at the Buzz Club in Boston. Pierce was rushed to a nearby hospital by his brother and a teammate, Tony Battie, where he underwent emergency lung surgery. Miraculously, Pierce recovered to play in all 82 games that season, averaging 25.3 points per game.

Iverson encountered some real trouble early in his life as well, only his was legal in nature. On February 14, 1993, Iverson was arrested along with several friends following a fight at a bowling alley in Hampton Roads VA. Although he was only 17 at the time, Iverson was tried as an adult, convicted of felony “maiming by mob”, and sentenced to 15 years in prison with 10 of those years suspended. After serving four months at the Newport News City Farm, Iverson was granted clemency by Gov. Donald Wilder and released. His conviction was overturned in 1995 for insufficient evidence.

I don’t know where either man stands spiritually, but I do know that – when the road before them grew so steep that it looked insurmountable – they both kept walking. As Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we should do no less when times get tough and we feel like quitting.

“But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13 (NKJV)

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Editor’s Note: Are you facing a trial of your own today? If so, try meditating on Romans 5:3-5 and Hebrews 13:5-6; and memorizing Romans 8:28.

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