By Chad Bonham
Colorado Avalanche 3, Phoenix Coyotes 2 (December 29, 2011)
Matt Duchene had a lot to celebrate heading into his team’s contest against Phoenix. In just his third NHL season, he was about to play a milestone 200th career game. A few weeks earlier he had recorded his first career hat trick and was emerging as a rising star.
But Duchene’s celebration was cut short early in the first period when his skate was caught in the ice as he attempted to check one of his opponents. Although he skated to the bench and was escorted to the locker room, it was later revealed the play had caused him a serious injury.
Duchene spent the next seven weeks recovering and missed 20 games in the process. But it was a Bible verse that his team’s chaplain Tim Burke shared not long after the injury that helped him overcome the understandable disappointment.
“Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
“I was going through a terrible injury and a turning point in my career,” Duchene said in a video for Hockey Ministries International. “It’s something I’ve always kept in mind as I’ve completed that transformation and realizing that (adversity) is part of God’s plan. Adversity makes you so much better and there’s always a reason for it…I’m always able to come through it.”
Duchene has continued to use that verse as an inspiration during other trying times on the ice including the 2015-16 season.
“I had a terrible start to the season after working really hard that summer. I basically beat myself up physically this summer because I took some of the blame for our team doing poorly (the previous) year. I had a terrible start. Nothing was going (into the net). But through that whole thing, I was very calm because I knew it was part of God molding me and finishing that final touch before I could take that step forward and be at peace.”
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: Sarah Connors; Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)