Football season could easily be a time for the liberal agenda to be forced on us even more, however, defensive tackle Devon Still is one of the few athletes taking a stand for Jesus Christ in the most inspiring way.
Devon Still and his daughter, Leah, stole the hearts of America when he sat out last season to be with Leah, after she was diagnosed with life-threatening Stage 4 neuroblastoma.
Leah was only 4-years-old when she was diagnosed with the rare and deadly cancer, and she was given a 50/50 chance of survival.
America watched the daddy-daughter duo face all of it together: the cancer, the chemo, the dark days and the latest diagnosis from doctors. Soon, we’ll get to see Devon back on the football field with the Houston Texans.
Although mainstream media is having a field day sensationalizing Devon Still’s monumental return to the NFL, they fail to cover his devout Christian faith — even though he attributes his perseverance to a strong faith in Jesus Christ.
While Leah endured radiation treatment and stem cell transplants intended to regenerate her bone marrow and stem cells as well as the surgery to remove the tumor, the Still family relied heavily on their Christian faith.
God tested their faith even more prior to Leah’s surgery when she experienced a devastating setback in her recovery. Instead of the positive results the family had anticipated when getting an update on her health, they learned her cancer was spreading to her shoulder and brain.
When I learned everything Devon and Leah endured during her cancer battle, I realized God was using them in extraordinary ways.
By the grace of God, Devon and Leah were able to turn trial into triumph. Throughout the ordeal, Leah recited: “I’m never going to give up.” It became a saying Leah and her father grew to share during car rides to the hospital, during her chemotherapy sessions and especially during times of prayer.
“Prayer doesn’t make everything easier but it makes everything possible,” Devon said.
Many wonder where Devon Still’s strength and peace comes from, but you don’t have to dig far to find where his fortitude comes from: Devon is outspoken about his Christian faith.
“The scariest part is when the treatment didn’t work before her surgery,” Devon said. “I’m deeply religious and I believe our relationship with God is what made winning this fight possible. From all the doubts the doctors put in your head, all the stuff they have to tell you about the odds and what’s going on, we believe in a higher power and that makes it all possible.”
When I learned everything Devon’s accomplished since Leah’s diagnosis, I realized God was rewarding his steadfast faith.
Two months after Leah’s setback, her cancer was gone. Now, she no longer requires maintenance treatments and gets a checkup every six months. Leah’s comeback from cancer is complete, and now, Devon is preparing to make an epic comeback too.
When I learned the new challenge God just handed Devon Still, I realized he was in desperate need of our prayers.
Devon was released from the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, but they later re-signed him to their practice squad partly to help him pay for Leah’s medical bills. They wanted to make sure he was covered by their medical insurance, but eventually they cut him from the team for good.
After months and months of tribulation, Devon was signed by the Houston Texans in January — but skeptics are doubting his potential. Devon is now competing for a starting job at right defensive end, and his faith will be put to the ultimate test at this Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
Instead of being bound by bitterness, Devon Still hopes to give God all the glory once again through his gift of football.
“This is what I really had hoped for. When my daughter was diagnosed, I told myself that I was going to dedicate everything to her. If I lost football, then I was going to lose it. I was hoping to get an opportunity to fight to get back to what I love to do. [Texans owner Bob McNair and coach Bill O’Brien] gave me the opportunity, and I want to take full advantage of it. To have mentors like J.J. and Vince Wilfork, I couldn’t have landed in a better place,” Devon explained.
With Leah in remission from stage 4 cancer, the veteran lineman is capitalizing on his opportunity to potentially win a starting job at right defensive end. The new Houston Texan could easily let the fame get to his head at a time like this, but Devon knows where his true fortune can be found — in heaven.
Devon Still’s testimony illustrates the perseverance and reward that can only be found when we submit ourselves to Jesus Christ. It is truly refreshing to see an athlete use their platform to spread the message of Jesus Christ — at a time when the world needs it now more than ever.
Please keep Devon Still in your prayers as he makes his big NFL comeback this weekend. After everything him and Leah have endured together, it truly would be breathtaking to see him START for the Houston Texans. Thank you, Devon Still, for reminding us the beauty and strength that comes when we trust in God’s plan!
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“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6