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Player’s NFL Dreams Were Turning to Dust

Former NFL player, Miles McPherson describes his bondage to cocaine and deliverance by Christ:

I was a defensive back playing for the San Diego Chargers and living the life I always wanted. As a rookie arriving at training camp, I was in awe of all the veteran players. I’ll never forget the day I walked into a hotel room occupied by six partying veterans. The pressure to get along, to fit in, was overwhelming. So when the guys pulled out cocaine and passed it around, I knew I had a decision to make: Take part or be left out.

The cocaine that I consumed that night took me by the lapels and forced me into submission. Soon enough, I was completely under its control. There I was, at the top of the sports world, playing on TV every Sunday and enjoying a nice contract. And yet, every chance I got, I drove myself down to the seediest neighborhoods of the city and paid good money to a dealer who sold me poison.

At the time, there were several guys on the team who were Christians, and they were very vocal about Jesus. One guy, in particular, was downright aggressive. One day, on a chartered flight back from a game, he got in my face. Staring me down, he asked, “If you were to die today, would you go to heaven? You know Jesus wants your heart. What are you going to do?” It freaked me out.

One night, one of my teammates drove me down to a ramshackle crack house. I encountered a shriveled-up skeleton of a soul in a dirty white tank top who was busy making a batch. He had given his life over to the drug, and it was killing him. I looked him up and down. I actually felt sorry for him—until I caught myself in the mirror. God said to me, What’s the difference between you and him?

Just then, my teammate entered the bathroom, and the cook handed him a crack pipe. He stood right in front of me, put that filthy thing in his mouth, and took a hit. I watched his eyes roll back in his head and his body go limp. I thought he was going to die. He asked me, “You want to try it?” I gulped, “Nah.” “You’re strong,” he said. I replied, “Not strong. Just scared.”

I began begging myself not to do it anymore. I was throwing away my dream, the best opportunity I ever could have hoped for. But no matter how furiously I pleaded with the man in the mirror, I just couldn’t stop. “Just one more day,” a voice from the dark side of my soul would say. “Just one more party.”

Finally, the moment of truth arrived. I began a cocaine binge in the evening, and when 5 a.m. rolled around, I still hadn’t gone to sleep. I was shackled by my habit and utterly helpless against it—I fully believed it would kill me. If anything was going to free me, it had to be mightier than my addiction. I recalled what my Christian teammates had said about the power of Jesus. And so I called out to Jesus to save me. Who else was going to do it?

When I got up off my knees, everything was different. I felt as if I had been delivered—that all the desire to use had fallen away. By God’s grace, from that point forward, I would never do drugs again.

Editor’s Note: Miles McPherson is the senior pastor of Rock Church in San Diego, CA.

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