Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Faith on the Frontstretch: Martin Truex Jr. Counts His Blessings After Pocono Win



 “ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” ~ Hebrews 12:1b

Martin Truex Jr.’s victory at Pocono, which ended his 69-race dry spell and came just a few days after his grandmother passed away, was reportedly the most popular win in the garage area in a long time. It made history, too, making Truex Jr. the first driver to earn 14 top-10 finishes in the first 15 races of a season since Richard Petty did it in 1969.

Perhaps the win represents renewed hope and triumph over adversity for Truex and girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, as she continues once-a-month chemo for ovarian cancer. For Truex personally, it might even bring a little redemption, because after being kicked out of the 2013 Chase after a scandal with his former team, he’s now a shoe-in for this year’s playoff races.

Even the guys who raced him up front for the win, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson, were thrilled for Truex.

“I think when you look at everything personally that Martin and Sherry have dealt with, I'm just super, super happy for them personally,” said Harvick, who finished second. “To see them have that bright spot of today is something that I think the whole garage is going to support and be happy with.”

Third-place finisher Johnson summed up how Truex handled the daunting situations in his life with grace.

“He's had more to overcome personally and professionally than probably anybody sitting in a seat right now, and for him to still walk in the garage every week with a smile on his face, climb in the car, put in the effort, be the great guy he is, I think speaks volumes.”

Even after a miserable 2014 with only one top-five finish and one lap led, Truex said he wouldn’t change anything that happened last year with his team. Why? Because he feels it shaped him into the guy he is today.

“… if I could change it so none of that stuff ever happened, I'm not sure I would,” Truex said. “I think it's kind of changed me. It's made me a better person. It's made me understand life a lot more, made me appreciate the things I do have more, and you know, honestly, as long as Sherry stays healthy from here on out, I think it's kind of weird to say, but it's almost a blessing in disguise.”

Bad times can be a blessing in disguise. It might sound weird, but it’s true.

Have you ever experienced a valley in life that seemed horrible at the time, but ended up benefiting you in deep ways you can’t even explain?

Strange as it seems, sometimes those hard times bring about blessings. The difficulties and pain end up being the very things that refine our faith and show us God’s trustworthiness. As we start to climb out of the valley, the fog lifts, and we notice and appreciate the good things in life – even the smallest blessings – so much more.

If you’re in the midst of a trial right now, it probably doesn’t seem like a blessing. Hang in there, dear one. God has you! Allow Him to strengthen you for the journey. Then someday, like Truex, you’ll be able to look back at this rough patch through eyes of faith and see God’s blessings in your life.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. ~ 1 Peter 1:7(NLT)
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“Faith on the Frontstretch” explores the role of faith in motorsports and runs every 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the NASCAR season. Follow Beth on twitter at @bbreinke.

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for NASCAR fans. Or you can purchase the book in paperback & ebook here.

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