Sonics’ Adrian Griffin testimony
I’ll be honest. I was really blessed in my childhood. I had two wonderful parents who were the biggest living testimony of God’s love. I watched my dad, a pastor, labor and pray for God to pay the bills, provide us with food and put us through school.
At a young age, I realized just how alive God truly is and how He works through our circumstances. I could see through my parents’ lives that I needed to follow their example and enter into a personal relationship with Christ. But it wasn’t until after I graduated college that I truly was able to rely on Christ 100 percent.
As a three-year starter at Seton Hall University, I, like so many other college standouts, wanted to continue my basketball career. But to my disappointment, I wasn’t drafted into the NBA. There I was, a 22-year-old college graduate who was, by that time, a husband and a father; and I was without a job.
It was a humbling experience to say the least. I had no money. I had a wife and a young daughter to take care of, and I didn’t know what to do. But one of the biggest blessings came when my wife and I finally realized it was out of our control and that we needed Christ’s intervention. That was when we both decided to commit ourselves fully to the Lord. I turned to God and asked Him to help me be the best husband and father I could be, and I promised Him that if He helped me get through that rough time, I would serve Him. And the doors were opened.
My first opportunity was the chance to play ball in Italy, and that was followed by an opportunity in the CBA.But after three years, I was ready to give up the dream of playing in the NBA. I had a family and needed something more stable than the unpredictable life I was living—a life in which I could be playing one day and cut from the team the next. But God remained faithful and true to His promise to provide.
At the age of 25, I played in my first NBA game, which is very uncommon. Most guys come to the league straight out of college or even high school, not three years post-college. But my journey to the NBA showed me that there is nothing God can’t do. As long as you believe and are doing your part and working toward your God-inspired goals, He is always faithful.
Now with the Chicago Bulls, I still see God’s hand in my life. I’m 6-foot-5. I don’t shoot extremely well. I don’t jump high. I am not the most athletic guy on the team. Every night I step onto the court, I feel like an underdog. But having Christ in my life, I know that I don’t live according to what the world sees.
My perspective is spiritual, and I know that God is behind me. I have a strong faith, and I know that I can go out and compete and not worry about my weaknesses. God doesn’t care about my weaknesses; He cares about my faith in Him and how I respond to His calling.
One thing I continually strive for is never losing my dependence on Christ. There are many distractions in the NBA, with traveling and being away from my family— people pulling you in all different directions. But with my foundation in Christ, I know I have a bigger purpose. Even when the devil tries to steal my joy, I know to turn to God.
What about you? Do you have faith that, even in life’s storms, you will be cared for? Do you have faith that, even in weakness, you can be strong in the Lord? If you don’t, I challenge you to turn your life over to the only One who can provide for your every need and cover over your every weakness: Jesus Christ. Give Him the reins of your life and get ready for an awesome ride! Try praying this prayer:
“Lord, I confess that I have never been faithful to You, even though You offer me Your unwavering faithfulness. I know that I am not able to handle all of life’s challenges without You. I admit that I fall short of Your standard of holiness, but I also know that Jesus came to save sinful people like me. Please take my life, Lord. Take every part of me and use it for Your glory. I give You everything I have and accept You as my only Source of salvation. Thank You, Lord. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”