By Chad Bonham
On November 11, 2016, New York Knicks guard Justin Holiday announced he would be taking a sabbatical from social media.
“I will be off of Twitter for a while, but scriptures will still be posted,” he wrote. “God bless.”
Already known for sharing one or two Bible verses a day, Holiday explained his reason behind his decision.
“Pretty much focus my time on my relationship with the Lord instead of spending time on social media,” Holiday told the New York Post. “Reading more scripture and praying. [My sister-in-law Lauren is] doing as good as you can be after a brain surgery. I want to let [my brother Jrue] know I’m praying for him. I know she’s recovering. It’s not as easy as it sounds — the word recovering — it’s not that easy. She’s doing the best she can.”
Holiday was referring to a family crisis that New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday and his wife Lauren (a recently retired member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team) had been going through since August of that year.
While pregnant with her first child, Lauren learned that she had a benign brain tumor that needed to be removed before causing any serious problems. But she needed to wait a few weeks to give birth before going into surgery. In the meantime, Jrue announced that he would be stepping away from the team indefinitely to help his wife get through the ordeal.
During certain keystone moments in his sister-in-law’s journey, Justin Holiday posted Bible verses that related to the difficult circumstance such as his tweet from four days before an official announcement was made:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
In the weeks following Lauren’s October surgery, Justin continued to encourage his followers with daily postings, for example:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Justin then shared a joyful post on November 17—the day his brother announced his return to the basketball court:
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)
By February of 2017, the Holidays had come through their personal storm and were enjoying life with their baby daughter. Justin again shared a Bible verse that his brother Jrue retweeted to his followers as a sign of sibling solidarity.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
This devotional is brought to you by Museum of the Bible, a 430,000 square foot museum being constructed 3 blocks south of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. and is set to open in November of 2017.
(Photos: Neon Tommy)